Anal fistula care at Mayo Clinic

Your Mayo Clinic care team

Mayo Clinic specialists trained in colon and rectal surgery and gastroenterology, as well as wound care experts and other specialists as needed, work together to evaluate and treat people with anal fistulas. If you have Crohn's disease or another medical condition, Mayo Clinic specialists will collaborate with your primary health care provider to form the best treatment plan.

Having all this expertise in a single place means that your care is discussed among the team, test results are available quickly, appointments are scheduled in coordination and the most highly specialized experts in the world are all working together for your health.

Advanced diagnosis

Knowing the complete path of an anal fistula is important for effective treatment. Mayo specialists use the latest technology to diagnose an anal fistula and create a plan for treatment to meet your needs.

A range of treatment options

Mayo Clinic specialists can offer a range of treatment options depending on the fistula's location, complexity and cause. The goals are to repair the anal fistula completely to prevent recurrence and to protect the sphincter muscles. LIFT is a two-stage treatment performed at Mayo Clinic for more-complex or deep fistulas.

Expertise and rankings


Mayo Clinic surgeons have extensive experience with anal fistulas, treating more than 1,000 people every year.

Leading-edge diagnosis and treatment

Mapping fistula tunnels and identifying internal openings can be difficult, especially for severe cases. Mayo Clinic specialists use state-of-the-art imaging technology to trace the pathways of anal fistulas. Tracing methods include endoscopic ultrasound, fistulography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and flexible sigmoidoscopy.

Mayo Clinic specialists offer the latest treatment therapies to help eliminate anal fistulas while preserving healthy tissue and function. Treatment options include seton placement and fibrin glue. Surgical options include standard fistulotomy, as well as ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract (LIFT) for complex anal fistulas.

Nationally recognized expertise

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, ranks No. 1 for digestive disorders in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for digestive disorders by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota, and the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2023–2024 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

More information about billing and insurance:

Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota

Mayo Clinic Health System

Sept. 01, 2022


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