Fistula-in-ano: advances in treatment

Samer Deeba, Omer Aziz, Parvinder S Sains, Ara Darzi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Several techniques have been described for the management of fistula-in-ano, but all carry their own risks of recurrence and incontinence. Technology has evolved over the past 2 decades that may enable surgeons to deal with this troublesome issue with greater success. This review summarizes the history of fistula-in-ano management, the current techniques available, and describes new technologies.

METHODS: Medline searches were performed using the PubMed, Ovid, Embase, Cochrane, and Google Scholar databases to identify articles reporting on fistula-in-ano management using surgery alone, fibrin glues, and fistula plugs. Forty-one articles reporting on the history of fistula-in-ano management and the use of new technologies were included.

RESULTS: Conventional fistula surgery techniques have their place, but new technologies such as fibrin glues and the anal fistula plugs offer an alternative approach, with initial studies reporting good success rates.

CONCLUSIONS: New technologies provide promising alternatives to traditional methods of management. There is, however, a real need for high-quality randomized control trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-9
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Crohn Disease/complications
  • Fibrin Tissue Adhesive/administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa/transplantation
  • Intestine, Small/transplantation
  • Rectal Fistula/etiology
  • Tissue Adhesives/administration & dosage

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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