5 Myths & Facts Around Laser Surgery For Anal Fistula


Contributed by: Rachana Arya


Fistula is a complicated condition. Only someone who has suffered from fistula can understand how inconvenient it is to be suffering from one! Because very few anal fistulas heal on their own, surgery is usually the only effective option. You may have painful symptoms and several abscesses if you don’t have surgery. 

The goal of any fistula surgery is to save the sphincter muscle and hence prevent incontinence, not merely to remove the current fistula. 

For patients suffering from persistent anal fistula, there are various procedures to choose from that include:


  • Fistulotomy 
  • Seton techniques 
  • Advancement flap procedures 
  • Bioprosthetic plug 
  • Fibrin glue 


The major goal of all the above procedures is to close the fistula and save the sphincter muscle. They all, however, have different recurrence rates. Given how debilitating a fistula can be, even a minor possibility of recurrence might be a source of worry for the patient.

Laser surgery is the most common type of surgery. This procedure is administered under general anesthesia. The surgeon cuts along the whole length of your anal fistula to open it up to allow it to heal as a flat scar.


There are several myths surrounding the efficacy of this therapy. Let’s bus them one by one:


Myth #1: Laser surgery can cause damage to the sphincter muscle


Laser surgery or laser therapy is a 100% safe and effective treatment for transsphincteric anal fistula. The laser techniques are advanced, scar-free, bloodless, and less painful. It causes minimal damage to the sphincter muscle, reducing the risk of incontinence after the procedure. With laser technology, your body is completely safe with fewer complications.


Myth #2: Laser surgery cannot cure a critical condition like fistula


Actually, the truth is just the opposite. Laser treatments solve the drawbacks of conventional surgery and produce better outcomes with minimum risk. It is a low complication rate procedure that is a life-saving way for complex fistulas and preserving the anal sphincter. In fact, this treatment of fistula is safe even for high-risk patients who have cardiac problems, hypertension, and aged people. The success rate of laser treatment for anal fistula is very good. Due to its benefits and effectiveness, laser surgery for anal fistula is gaining immense popularity in India.


Myth #3: Laser treatment is very costly and unaffordable


You should be aware that laser treatment is currently quite affordable. You can always rely on the best laser surgeons at the best laser clinics to provide you with the best treatment at the best price. The option of using daycare facilities can help to minimize treatment costs even more.


Myth #4: Critical laser surgeries required you to stay at home to recover completely


It is incorrect! It is again just the opposite of what the truth is. As compared to traditional open surgeries that take more than 2-3 months to allow you to get back to your normal life schedule, the patient can resume a normal lifestyle in a minimum period of 24-48 hours. Moreover, the patient can go home the same day of the operation because it is a minimally invasive daycare treatment.


Myth #5: Laser treatment causes a lot of pain and bleeding


Never! Laser treatment of fistulas is more successful than banding surgery since it does not require any big cuts or incisions. There is no or very little blood loss during and after the procedure, and there is no or very little post-operative pain.


Wrapping it up

If you have an anal fistula, surgery is required, particularly in complex cases where recurrence rates and the possibility of postoperative incontinence are high. The use of laser surgery for the treatment of fistula has shown encouraging results. The technique is easy to learn and fast to perform, with no serious complications reported.


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