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Try VAAFT, a painless treatment for anal fistula

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New Delhi: People suffering from anal fistula now have a new treatment at their service that enables them to undergo the surgical procedure painlessly, with an assurance of fast recovery and less chances of re-occurrence.

According to some health experts in the capital, Video Assisted Anal Fistula Treatment (VAAFT) — the new treatment for anal fistula — is an improved surgical procedure and people should prefer it due to its features of being a painless treatment and giving no problem in bowel movement after the procedure.

The treatment requires no incision, making the process friendly and helps the patient to restart a normal life easily.

“Though there are various ways to treat anal fistula, some are conventional methods, which involve surgery. Treatment practices named Fistulutomy/Fistulectomy in such problems involve removal of complete fistula tract with help of a knife, causing a lot of pain and bleeding,” according to Ashish Bhanot, chief bariatric surgeon at city-based Nova-Apollo group Hospital.

He said the previous methods caused large wound and the patient required long hospitalisation and daily dressing of big wounds, which usually take a long time to heal and require daily treatment. It also has slightly higher chances of re-occurrence.

Speaking about the VAAFT technique, Bhanot said: “Doctor can identify the internal opening of the fistula tract with help of an endoscope which navigates through the fistula tract under vision.

“The fistula is removed through a special electric current and after the removal of the fistula the opening is shut with the help of fibrin glue,” he said.

Sooraj Khanna, a surgeon at Safdarjung hospital, said VAAFT has given excellent results when it comes to anal fistula treatment.

On the post-treatment care, Khanna said: “The most crucial thing is to maintain anal hygiene, toilet hygiene, having sex with protection, avoiding spicy foods and excessive sedatives and pain killers.”

He suggested the people should immediately get themselves checked “if they witness symptoms such as pain, swelling and bleeding while passing stool, pain in bowel movements, difficulty in performing normal activities and reddening on the opening of skin, discharge of puss”.

He said a clinical evaluation including a digital rectal examination is well enough to diagnose anal fistula, but many a times test like MRI, ultrasound, protoscope, fistula probe and fistulogram are also done to understand the path of fistula.