If you are diagnosed with anal fistulas, your doctor may recommend you undergo an anal fistula surgery because the fistula won’t help on its own. Few of the anal fistula surgeries are fistulotomy, flap procedure, Ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract [LIFT] procedure, seton placement, bioprosthetic plug, muscle flap, fibrin glue, laser surgery, and endoscopic ablation, etc. Out of these surgical procedures, laser surgery is the best and safest treatment option as it does not involve major or severe complications.
10 tips to follow after the surgery:
However, regardless of the type of anal surgery you underwent, your surgeon or doctor will suggest you follow a few tips or instructions to promote the healing of the wound and recovery process. 10 tips that you need to follow after undergoing an anal fistula surgery are:
- Wait till anesthesia wears off:
Before undergoing the surgery, you will be sedated using either local or general anesthesia which makes you feel numb to avoid any pain during the surgery. Once the surgery is done, you will be transferred to a recovery room where nurses will monitor your vital signs.
Once you are awake, you can be discharged if you undergo a daycare procedure. You can feel groggy and confused as the anesthesia effects take a few hours to fully wear off. So wait until the anesthesia wears off to drive the vehicle or to use machinery tools.
- Ear fiber-rich food items:
After the surgery, you may feel pain in and around the anal region and can suffer from constipation. To avoid this, your doctor will suggest you eating food items that are rich in fiber like cauliflower, cabbage, sweet potatoes, watermelon, raspberries, beets, sprouts, chickpeas, almonds, dark chocolate, oats brown rice, avocados, bananas, carrots, strawberries, and broccoli, etc. These food items can soften the stools and relieve strain during bowel movements. They also help in reducing your weight and decrease the severity of pain in the anal region.
- Sitz bath:
If you feel severe pain and discomfort in the anal region, your doctor will recommend you have a sitz bath. You can have a sitz bath 2-3 times a day and help in relieving your pain. Sitz baths also cleanse your body parts more effectively than a regular shower. This also moisturizes your skin and keeps the skin hydrated.
- Drink plenty of water:
Due to fistula, leakage of bowel contents through the skin can happen and lead to dehydration. So, to avoid such things, one should drink plenty of water per day ranging between 3-4 liters of water.
- Don’t hold the urgency of bowel movements
After the surgery, you should not hold the urgency of bowel movement in any situation as this can affect your healing process and also delays the recovery time. You can also suffer from severe abdominal pain and rectal pain.
- Do exercises:
You will be advised by your doctor to perform a daily exercise for about 20-30 minutes. Exercises should be easy and simple and should not cause any stress on the body. By doing regular exercises, you can improve your healing process of the wound and can reduce the chances of recurrence of the anal fistula.
- Avoid spicy and hot foods:
Eating hot and spicy foods after surgery can cause severe pain and bleeding during defecation. So, you should stop eating spicy and hot food items to boost your recovery process and to reduce the occurrence of anal fistula symptoms. It is also advised to skip heavy meals as they can lead to the development of new abnormal connections between the intestine and other organs.
- No smoking & alcohol:
You should not smoke or drink alcohol as these can aggravate the complications and increase the chances of recurrence of anal fistula. However, smoking and alcohol consumption can increase the risk of factors for several health conditions. So, it is good to avoid drinking alcohol and smoking.
- Keep the area clean:
Maintain a healthy and hygienic lifestyle after anal surgery as it can keep the complications away. Also, keep your anal region clean after each bowel movement and by doing so, chances of infection and recurrence of anal fistula will be reduced.
- Visit the doctor:
Even after 2-3 weeks of the surgery, if you notice symptoms of an anal fistula or if you feel severe pain and bleeding from the anus, contact your doctor immediately. Your doctor will evaluate the surgical wound to find out whether the surgery is successful or not. In case the surgery doesn’t show any effect on the anal fistulas, then your doctor may suggest revision surgery or any other anal fistula surgery.
Plan follow-up sessions and make sure to visit your doctor as planned. These follow-up sessions can help your doctor to evaluate the disease condition after the surgery.
Above mentioned tips or instructions help you to recover quickly from the surgery and enable you to perform daily activities within a short time. Failing to follow the suggested tips by your doctor or surgeon will make you vulnerable to get affected by severe complications of fistula like anal infection, discharge of pus or blood from the anus, bowel incontinence, severe pain during bowel movements, and recurrence of anal fistula, etc. Contact your doctor or surgeon immediately if you notice any symptoms of fistula after 2-4 weeks of anal fistula surgery.