Fistulotomy and Fistulectomy
Surgical treatments for fistulotomy are carried out with the goal of achieving several things: the fistula must be drained to remove pus and other fluid, the fistula tract itself must be opened or removed, and the damage must be repaired to prevent further recurrence of fistulas. Finally, the procedure is carried out with the hope that form and function of the damaged tissue can be restored to normal.
Depending on the location and nature of a specific fistula, either a fistulotomy or a fistulectomy is performed as a surgical treatment.
Generally, a fistulotomy is performed in cases where the fistula is located close to the skin. For example, when an anal fistula is located close to the rectum and anal tract, the fistulotomy is the preferred surgical treatment. This is carried out by opening the anal fistula, draining pus and other fluid, and then merging the fistula tract with the anal canal to allow the fistula to heal.
In cases where the fistula is located deeper within the body, the preferred surgical treatment is a fistulectomy, in which the fistula is removed entirely. This is often the preferred option in cases where a fistula has developed between two organs, for example.
Both procedures are usually carried out under general anesthetic, but side effects and risks vary depending on the type of procedure that has been performed, and the location of the fistula. As a general rule, there are fewer risks and shorter recovery times associated with fistulotomy as compared to fistulectomy.