Preventing the recurrence of acute anorectal abscesses utilizing a loose seton: a pilot study

Erol T., Mentes B., Bayri H., Osmanov I., LEVENTOĞLU Ö. S., Yildiz A., ...More

PAN AFRICAN MEDICAL JOURNAL, vol.35, 2020 (ESCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.11604/pamj.2020.35.18.21029
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Introduction: this pilot study aimed to document our results of treating anorectal abscesses with drainage plus loose seton for possible coexisting high fistulas or drainage plus fistulotomy for low tracts at the same operation. Methods: drainage plus fistulotomy were performed only in cases with subcutaneous mucosa, intersphincteric, or apparently low transsphincteric fistula tracts. For all other cases with high transsphincteric fistula or those with questionable sphincter involvement, a loose seton was placed through the tract. Drainage only was carried out in 17 patients. Results: twenty-three patients underwent drainage plus loose seton. Drainage plus fistulotomy were performed in four cases. None of the patients developed recurrent abscess during a follow-up of 12 months. Not surprisingly, the incontinence scores were similar pre and post-operatively (p=0.564). Only minor complications occurred in 4 cases (14.8 percent). Secondary interventions following loose seton were carried out in 13 patients (48.1 percent). At 12 months, drainage only was followed by 10 recurrences (58.8 percent; p<0.0001, compared with concomitant surgery). Conclusion: concomitant loose seton treatment of high fistula tracts associated with anorectal abscess prevents abscess recurrence without significant complications or disturbance of continence. Concomitant fistulotomy for associated low fistulas also aids in the same clinical outcome. Concomitant fistula treatment with the loose seton may suffice in treating the whole disease process in selected cases. Even in patients with high fistula tracts, the loose seton makes fistula surgery simpler with a mature tract. Abscess recurrence is high after drainage only.