Anal Fistula Specialist

Marcus M. Aquino, MD, FACS, FASCRS -  - Colon and Rectal Surgeon

ColoProctology Associates & nasaHernia

Marcus M. Aquino, MD, FACS, FASCRS

Colon and Rectal Surgeon & Hernia Surgeon located in Galveston Bay Area, Seabrook, TX

If you have an anal fistula, you may experience constant throbbing pain every time you have a bowel movement or simply sit down. Because anal fistulas can lead to complications like fecal incontinence, board-certified surgeon Marcus Aquino, MD, FACS, FASCRS, provides advanced treatment solutions at ColoProctology Associates & nasaHernia in Seabrook, Texas. Before your anal fistula progresses, book an evaluation. You can conveniently schedule an appointment online or over the phone today.

Anal Fistula Q&A

What is an anal fistula?

An anal fistula is a very small tunnel that forms between your bowel and anus. In most cases, anal fistulas develop because of an infection and collection of pus (abscess). As the infection subsides and pus drains, the small channel left behind stays open. 

In some cases, the following conditions increase your risk of suffering from an anal fistula:

  • Anal fissure
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Infected blood clots

You also have a higher chance of developing an anal fistula if you had complications resulting from surgery near your anus. 

What are the symptoms of an anal fistula?

Having an anal fistula can lead to severe pain and discomfort. You may find that the skin around your anus is sore and irritated. An anal fistula can also lead to:

  • Throbbing pain during bowel movements and coughing fits
  • Difficulty controlling your stools (fecal incontinence)
  • Passing of blood or pus

If any of these symptoms are affecting you, don’t delay booking an examination at ColoProctology Associates & nasaHernia. Dr. Aquino performs a rectal examination and uses a specialized scope (anuscope) to look inside your anus to assist with the diagnostic process.

How is an anal fistula treated?

Anal fistulas typically don’t heal on their own, so Dr. Aquino is likely going to recommend surgery. You can read about some of the more common anal fistula procedures below.


A fistulotomy is the most common type of anal fistula surgery. This procedure involves making an incision along the entire length of the fistula, so it opens up. As your anal fistula heals, it turns into flat scar tissue, rather than an obtrusive, painful bump.  

Advancement flap procedure and LIFT technique

During an advancement flap procedure, Dr. Aquino scrapes or cuts out your anal fistula. He covers the opening with a flap of tissue that’s taken from inside your rectum. This alternative procedure doesn’t involve cutting into your sphincter muscles and is beneficial if you’re at risk of chronic fecal incontinence. 

Seton techniques

If your anal fistula passes through a large part of your anal sphincter, seton techniques may be a better alternative. This procedure involves placing a surgical thread into your anal fistula for several weeks, forcing it to stay open. As a result, your anal fistula drains and heals without the need for cutting into sphincter muscles. 

Schedule your anal fistula exam at ColoProctology Associates & nasaHernia today. You can book an appointment through the website, or you can call the office to schedule by phone.