New Techniques in Anal Fistula Management

Document Type: Review Article


1 Department of Colorectal Surgery, Rasoul Akram Medical Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.

2 Department of Colorectal Surgery, Rasoul Akram Medical Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS), Tehran, IR Iran


Context: The management of complicated anal fistula is a serious issue in coloproctology. Various methods have been described but the choice must be made based on the course of the fistula tract in relation to the sphincter. As anal fistulas are caused by anal gland infection, the anal gland and ducts should be removed for the process of healing to begin and for the anal sphincter preservation. The aim of this study is to briefly explain and assess three new sphincter preserving surgical treatments, including fibrin glue and anal plug techniques and the procedure of ligation of intersphincteric fistula tract (LIFT) and also to evaluate the failure and success rates of these techniques.
Evidence Acquisition: We conducted a search in the literature of the last decade, in the PubMed database, using the keywords: anal Fistula, LIFT procedure, fibrin glue and anal plug.
Results: Using anal fistula plug provides another option for the treatment of complex anal fistulas and does appear to be an effective technique in some cases. The technique of intersphincteric fistula tract ligation as a fistula treatment surgery, aims for total anal sphincter preservation and appears to be both safe and easy to perform, with encouraging early outcomes. The authors suggest further controlled studies comparing the LIFT procedure with standard therapies.
Conclusions: Fibrin sealant injection should be in the armamentarium of the specialists' surgical treatments for fistula-in-ano. The surgeons and their patient should be aware of the limited success expectations, when using fibrin glue technique as the treatment.