Commercially produced fibrin sealant can be used to completely close both simple and complex fistulae in ano.
A 29-patient prospective nonrandomized clinical trial was performed. In the operating room, the patient underwent an examination with anesthesia and the primary and secondary fistula tract openings were attempted to be identified. The fistula tract was curetted and fibrin sealant was injected into the secondary fistula tract opening until fibrin sealant was seen coming from the primary opening. A petroleum jelly gauze was then applied over the secondary opening and the patient was sent home. Follow-up visits were scheduled for 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 1 year later.
Twenty-nine consecutive patients received fibrin sealant injections for their fistulae in ano, with a mean follow-up of 6 months. Two patients had a history of Crohn disease (regional enteritis) and 2 patients had human immunodeficiency virus infection. Overall, 17 (68%) of 25 patients have had successful closure of their fistula with 4 patients lost to follow-up. Two patients required reinjection with fibrin sealant, and neither of these subsequently had closure. One of the 2 patients with Crohn disease had closure, as well as 1 human immunodeficiency virus–positive patient. In addition, there has been no evidence of incontinence or complications related to the use of fibrin sealant in this procedure.
Initial results in the treatment of chronic anorectal fistulae using commercial fibrin sealant are optimistic, but require further support through longer follow-up data. Fibrin sealant treatment of anorectal fistulae offers a unique mode of management which is safe, simple, and easy for the surgeon to perform. By using fibrin sealant, the patient avoids the risk of fecal incontinence and the discomfort of prolonged wound healing that may be associated with fistulotomy.