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Colorectal Diseases

Anal fistula plug post-op

12/01/2008

Question:

I had fistula plug surgery 4 days ago. The plug remains in place. Small amount of drainage from the external opening after each BM seems to include the odor of fecal material and some coloration of the same. Assuming I am correct regarding the drainage, is there any hope the internal opening will still heal closed? In other words how likely is it that the surgery will have the desired outcome? Thank you for your response.

Answer:

The external opening may stay open for a few months, even if the internal opening heals. Depending on the author you read, fistula plugs are successful in 25-80% of cases. Some surgeons have more success than others. There is no clear reason why.

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Response by:

Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Colorectal Surgery Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati