Seton drainage and fibrin glue injection for complex anal fistulas

Colorectal Dis. 2010 May;12(5):459-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1318.2009.01811.x. Epub 2009 Feb 7.


Objective: The study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of fibrin glue in the treatment of complex anal fistula.

Method: Thirty consecutive patients with a complex anal fistula underwent glue instillation after an 8 week period of seton drainage. Cure was defined as complete closure of any secondary opening, absence of fistula seepage, and no abscess formation.

Results: The mean age of the patients (15 males) was 40.5 (range, 22.8-69.1) years. The mean duration of follow-up was 11.7 (range, 0.2-33.5) months. Complete closure of the fistula was achieved in 17 patients at 1 month but in two patients a delayed abscess occurred. At the end of follow-up, 15 (50%) patients were considered to have been cured. The success rate was no different in cases of Crohn's disease or when postoperative antibiotic therapy was given. There was, however, a significant difference in success following regional vs general anaesthesia (68.4 vs 18.2% success, P = 0.02).

Conclusion: Fibrin glue cured 50% of our first 30 patients, and regional anaesthesia was predictive of success.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Drainage
  • Female
  • Fibrin Tissue Adhesive / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rectal Fistula / surgery
  • Rectal Fistula / therapy*
  • Tissue Adhesives / administration & dosage*
  • Young Adult


  • Fibrin Tissue Adhesive
  • Tissue Adhesives