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An anal fistula is an abnormal connection between the back passage (anal canal) and the opening to the outer skin surrounding the anus. On the surface of the skin around the anus, one or more of the fistula ends may be seen as holes, which tunnel down into the back passage.
An anal fistula is usually the result of a previous abscess, which does not heal properly. An anal fistula is rarely a serious condition, but it usually requires surgical treatment.