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Avoid Surgery, Go for Medicated Thread Treatment

Fistulas refer to narrow passageways that develop in the body. They may also be surgically created. A fistula may connect body cavities such as the vagina and the rectum. It may also connect the cavity to the surface of the skin. Fistulas that develop abnormally occur due to certain diseases.

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Fistulas are described depending upon their location. For instance, an arteriovenous fistula connects a vein and an artery. Such fistulas may be created surgically in cases where continuous medical treatment needs to be administered such as dialysis and kidney failure.

A fistula may develop in any part of the body. There are three main types of fistulas, namely blind, complete and incomplete. Blind fistulas are open at one end, complete fistulas are open at both ends internally and externally, and incomplete fistulas have only an external opening. There are a variety of factors that can lead to development of a fistula. Certain diseases, trauma and even medical treatments can lead to fistulas. Diseases that cause inflammation of the bowel such as colitis and crohn’s disease are known to cause anorectal fistulas. Certain kinds of trauma such as that caused during childbirth could lead to obstetric fistulas. This usually occurs in areas of the world where there is poor medical care or no medical care at all.

Fistula in-ano is a painful condition that necessitates surgery. However, thanks to the pioneering work of the late Professor Deshpande of the College of Medical Sciences, Varanasi, along with a team of researchers and scientists from New Delhi, Chandigarh, Wardha and Mumbai, it can be cured by using the ancient Indian non-surgical treatment of Kshaarsootra.

Ksharsootra is the practice of passing a medicated thread through the fistula at regular intervals. This method of treatment for Fistula in-ano was first described by the famous Indian surgeon Sushruta in his famous treatise Sushruta Samhita which was written in 600 BC. The thread itself is coated with extracts from the herbs Snuhi (Euphorbia nerifolia), Apamarga (Achyranthes aspera), and Turmeric (Curcuma longa). This method of treatment has been widely used in India ever since the results of Professor Deshpande’s work were published in the American Journal of Proctology in 1976.

However, a well controlled, comparative trial of this method was still pending and this was eventually carried out by the Indian Council of Medical Research in 1991. During the course of this trial a set of patients suffering from fistula in-ano were divided into two groups. The first group was treated using standard surgical procedures and the second group was treated with the medicated thread. The outcome of this trial clearly showed that although the initial healing time with Ksharsootra was longer as compared to the surgical method, the results obtained by it were more long-lasting.

The results of this test were published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research and were widely hailed as a major breakthrough in the field of alternative medicine. This method of treatment is also of special significance for developing countries as it is less expensive as compared to the surgical method. It also brings to the forefront the fact that treatments prescribed in ancient medical texts may very effectively be adapted to cure modern day ailments.

Treatment For Fistula

The human body has a complex gastrointestinal tract that begins at the mouth and ends with the rectum. When you eat, the food makes a journey down your body. During this trip, all useful nutrients and fluids are digested and absorbed, and waste material goes to the rectum for disposal, leaving from the anus. However, the tissue of the anal passage is very delicate and any irritation can damage it. Typically, the problem starts with a small fissure in the tissue, which is soon infected. This creates a pocket of infection called an abscess. A fistula is created when the infected material inside the abscess moves towards the surface. In almost all cases, this tunnel will open on the surface near the anus. However a fistula may lead to another internal organ or go back into the intestines. Identifying the path of a fistula is usually the first step in successful treatment for fistula. A specialized instrument called an anoscope is used to study the lower rectum to identify the starting abscess. Once it is found, the doctor will trace the route to the surface opening. Depending on the age of the fistula, you can expect some foul-smelling discharge and blood. Other symptoms include mild fever, soreness in the anal region, general lethargy, and extreme discomfort during a bowel movement. The stools may even show traces of blood from the damaged anal tissue.   

The most common cause for damage to the anal tissue is a poor diet. In some cases, dehydration can cause hard, rough stools that damage the internal tissues. Eating a lot of spicy or heavily seasoned foods will also cause inflammation in the lower intestine (colon) and anal passage. Alcohol is also a leading reason for damaging tissue and causing ruptures. Fistulas may also occur due to certain medical conditions, such as tuberculosis, Crohn’s disease, or cancer of the intestine. At home, you can follow a fistula diet designed to reduce irritation to the area and allow the wound to heal. In most cases, this will largely be a liquid diet to avoid any hard bowel movements. Drinking plenty of water and fruit juices is recommended, since this helps keep the stool soft and easy to pass. Your doctor may also recommend supplements to cover up for any loss in nutrients. Avoid spicy or oily foods for a few days and keep away from alcohol. Try to include only fresh, healthy ingredients in your meals. Include fiber and cereals in your diet, since they help to avoid constipation. You could even try some fistula home remedies for further relief. Aloe vera gel can be used to cover and protect the fistula opening. This gel contains all-natural antibiotics that prevent further infection and promote healing.    

If left untreated, a fistula will appear to heal by itself in a few hours. The discharge will stop and the opening will start to close up. This can fool some patients into thinking the fistula is cured. However, the abscess is still festering inside. Soon a new fistula opening will show up near the old one, leading to further skin damage. In the case of such recurrences, a surgery is the best fistula treatment. The surgeon will make an incision in the area and drain out all the pus and discharge from the internal abscess. Treatment for fistula includes antibiotics. These are needed to kill any remaining bacteria and prevent a fresh infection of the surgery wound. Once the infection is cleaned, you will not experience any more fistulas. However, it is recommended you follow a moderate diet and exercise regularly to avoid repeating this unpleasant experience.


Fistula treatment depends upon the cause, size, type and location. The diagnosis also depends upon the type and location of the fistulas. Smaller fistulas which occur due to injury usually heal and disappear on their own. In cases where a disease is responsible for the fistula, antibiotic treatment may be administered. Fistulas that interfere and hamper bodily functions may require surgical treatment. Surgery is the most common treatment option recommended by doctors. However fistula treatment without surgery is also possible. This is because in many cases surgery is only a temporary solution. In a perianal fistula, treatment through surgery can still cause the fistula to recur after some time. This is also true in case of a rectovaginal fistula.

Oroantral fistula

An oroantral fistula occurs after a tooth is extracted and an opening forms between the mouth and sinuses. In case of an oroantral fistula, treatment may involve wearing of a palatinal plate, antibiotic solvent rinses, physiological solution rinses and administration of topical antibiotics. A bronchopleural fistula develops between the pleura or the membrane lining of the lungs and the bronchial tree or the large airways in the lungs. Bronchopleural fistula treatment involves surgical closing of the fistula by introducing a chemical that leads to scarring and closure of the fistula. Enterocutaneous fistula treatment involves draining the passageway thoroughly so that healing can occur.

Dental fistula treatment may involve tooth extraction through root canal surgery. Treatment for fistula can also be done by applying warm compresses to encourage opening of the abscess. An important part of fistula treatment is maintenance of good hygiene. The area must be kept clean and dry at all times. Intake of adequate amounts of liquids everyday is also necessary to encourage healing.
 

Submitted on January 16, 2014
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