How To Recover Smartly From Fistula Surgery

How To Recover Smartly From Fistula Surgery

Anal Fistula is the formation of a small infectious tunnel connecting the rectal glands(inside the anus) to the exterior of the skin (where the waste is discharged). These are caused by untreated or unhealed anal abscesses

( infectious pockets of pus around the anus). 

Anal Fistula causes a lot of pain and discomfort including swelling, irritation around the anus. Bowel movements are accompanied by leakage of blood and smelly discharge. It requires immediate surgical treatment to avoid further complications. 


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Surgery for removing the anal fistula is mostly done by Fistulotomy and Iridectomy. Both these procedures require minimal overnight hospital stay requiring you to get discharged the next day. If the surgery is very simple, you can go home the same day, depending on the complication of the anal fistula. However, complete healing takes time and needs a lot of care at home on your part. 

We have outlined the healing process to help you understand better and take better care of the wound ….

Immediately After Surgery 


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  • The Surgery will leave a wound near the anus. The doctor will cover the wound with a gauze and dress your wound as there will be leakage and discharge from the wound. You will be required to change the dressing regularly for the next few days or weeks. The doctor will demonstrate how to change your dressing at home.

  • Once the effect of anaesthesia is gone, you will be required to take some pain relieving medicines to help with the pain. The doctor will prescribe you these pain medicines for the next few weeks.

  •  When the effect of general anaesthesia wears off, you can eat and drink normally. You can sit up and walk around. 

  • You may also be able to go home the same day if your surgery was a simple one and doesn’t require any further treatments. However, if you require additional treatment or surgery, you will be required to stay in the hospital for a few days.


One to Two Weeks After The Surgery 

  • You can expect pain at the site of surgery, you will be required to take medicines prescribed by the doctor. The doctor may prescribe you with painkillers to manage the pain.

  •  The doctor will prescribe you antibiotics to eliminate the chances of infections. However, it is crucial that you should complete the course of antibiotics to avoid infections.

  • Your doctor will recommend you to take a laxative

( stool softener) to help you avoid any discomfort during a bowel movement.  

  • The doctor will recommend you warm baths that you can comfortably sit in. Soaking your wound in warm water while taking a bath will help to relieve pain. 

  • You will be required to change your dressing regularly. This requires Washing the wound, medicating the wound and covering the wound with the dressing.


Washing the wound


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  1. It is important to keep the wound clean to avoid any chances of infection and allow faster healing. You can wash the wound by soaking soft cotton in warm water and gently cleaning the wound. Avoid using a towel or a sponge as this can cause irritation.

  2. Slowly pat clean dry, if possible use a low-setting hair dryer to dry the wound. Donor rub.

  3. Do not use talcum powder on the wound, it can irritate the sensitive skin around the fistula


Medicating the wound

  1. The doctor will prescribe you with medicated creams to apply on your wound. You will be required to apply the creams as per the instructions by the doctor. 

  2. Theses creams create a barrier for the wound to keep the irritants away. 


Dressing the wound

  1. You will be required to dress your wound with the help of a  sterile gauze and tape. The doctor will show you how to dress your wound before you get discharged from the hospital. You may take help, but it will fairly easy to do it by yourself. 

  2. Make sure you follow the doctor’s instructions carefully and change the dressing regularly every day. 

  3. You will need to change the dressing when you experience a bloody or leaky discharge.

  4.  Since you will be seeing a bloody discharge for the first few weeks, it will be sanitary for you wear a pad in the underwear. It is recommended for both women and men.

  5. This will help you to avoid getting your clothes stained and dirty, every time there is a leakage.


This will help you to move around in public while maintaining your hygiene.

  • Your doctor will advise you to rest. Do not participate in rigorous activities. 

  • You can move freely and walk around. But it is advisable to avoid walking a lot. 

  • At the same time, it is not advisable to sit for a long period of time, as this will exert pressure on the wound. Alternatively, you can use cushions that are designed to relieve pressure while sitting. They will be available in most pharmacies. 

  • To help you move around comfortably, it is advisable that you wear loosely fitted clothes and underwear.

  • While sleeping, it is advisable to lie down on your side, rather than your back.

  • By following the instructions given by the doctor and with proper care, most people can get back to their routine and go to work after 1-2 weeks of the surgery. 

  • However, for some people, the time required for recovery may be longer. 


3 -6 Weeks After The Surgery

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  • It is recommended to follow the self-care instructions like washing, medicating and dressing the wound, until 6 weeks after the surgery. 

  • Some wounds may heal faster, most wounds will heal until 6 weeks after the surgery.

  • You will be required to do a follow-up visit with your doctor, to check on the wound’s condition and healing progress.

  • Once you are cleared by the doctor that your wound has healed, you can resume your normal activities.

  • You should avoid swimming till your wound has healed completely. Ask your doctor before resuming any athletic or recreational activities

  • However, your doctor will ask you to take some precautions because the internal healing of the wound will take months or years. 

  • In some cases, after the surgery, the anal fistula may reappear. Follow the doctors advise to check back with the hospital, to make sure the anal fistula has not returned. 


When Should I See The Doctor?

It is recommended to make an appointment with the doctor after the surgery if you see any of the following symptoms.


  • Bleeding heavily

  • Intense pain

  • Increase in the Inflammation, redness at the site of the wound

  • Increase in the amount of discharge

  • Fever above 100.4

  • Feeling nauseous

  • Inability to pass the stool( no bowel movement) for more than three days after the surgery

  • Pain while urinating

It is crucial that you choose the right doctor to treat the anal fistula. The surgery required to treat anal fistula has to be performed with great precision and care. The surgery has to be performed carefully so that it doesn't damage the exterior anal sphincter(the anal muscle that controls the bowel movement and lets it out). It is highly essential because if the surgery is done incorrectly, it may lead to bowel incontinence( no control over bowel movement). Hence,  It takes a skilled and highly qualified and experienced doctor to perform this surgery and allow full recovery after the surgery.

We at Sankhya Hospital, have very skilled doctors (Colorectal Surgeons) who perform the treatment for rectal conditions like anal fistula. We have a high degree of patient success with the Fistulotomy( surgery for anal fistula). If you have been diagnosed with an anal fistula, Call us now to book an appointment with our best of the industry Colorectal surgeons. 


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