What is the difference between Anal Fissure and Anal Fistula?
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There is a big difference between Anal Fissure and Anal Fistula. An Anal Fistula is an abnormal communication or tunnel between your rectums towards your anus; it is commonly caused by an anal abscess, so even though your abscess may have healed, there is now a skin tract or tunnel from your rectum, towards your anus, and this tract will stay there until you have surgery done. What is done is usually called a fistulectomy, or fistulotomy. Tracts can course either to the front or towards your back. Tracts towards the front are straight while tracts towards the back are curved. If it really is a fistula, the tract might get infected and will lead to more pain and suffering on your part, not to mention possible complications.
An Anal Fissure on the other hand is simply a nick or wound in your anal area, usually superficial but still painful and very prone to infection. Usually it is caused by trauma or passing of hard stools.
The ano-rectal region has a rich blood supply and veins, these veins sometimes get inflamed, enlarge and form what we call hemorrhoids. Thus the difference between Anal Fissure and Anal Fistula is that an anal fissure is caused by an abscess while Anal Fistula is a small wound in anal area.