Introduction: Recurrent and complex high fistulas remain a surgical challenge. This paper reports our experience with the anal fistula plug in patients with complex fistulas.

Methods: Data were collected prospectively and analyzed from consecutive patients undergoing insertion of a fistula plug from January 2011 through April 2014 at Hazrat-e-Rasoul Hospital in Tehran. We ensured that sepsis had been eradicated in all patients prior to placement of the plug. During surgery, a conical shaped collagen plug was pulled through the fistula tract. 

Results: Twelve patients were included in this case study. All patients had previously undergone failed surgical therapy to cure their fistula and had previously-placed Setons. There were eight males and four females with an average age of 44 who were treated for complex fistulas. At a median time of follow-up of 22.7 months, 10 of the 12 patients had healed (83.3%). One patient developed an abscess that was noted on the sixth postoperative day, and there was one recurrence during follow-up.

Conclusions: Fistula plugs are effective for the long-term closure of complex anal fistulas. Success of treatment with the fistula plug depends on the eradication of sepsis prior to plug placement.


Keywords: anal fistula, treating, fistula plug
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