Anal fistula, closure with Anal Fistula Plug® (AFP®) - general and visceral surgery

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  • Excising the fistula opening

    Excising the fistula opening

    Verify the indication by probing the fistula, then sparingly excise the external opening of the fistula. Follow this by flushing the fistula tract.

  • Inserting the plug

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    Insert a stay suture. Pull the tapered end of the AFP attached to the stay suture into the tract through the internal opening and the tract to the outside. Keep the plug under slight tension until it is firmly seated in the lumen of the fistula. Trim the internal excess such that the plug is flush with the mucosa.

  • Anchoring the plug

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    Anchor the plug, usually with 2 PDS sutures (3-0 or 2-0) through the internal sphincter or muscularis propria. With the proper stitch direction, this should also close the mucosa and anoderm respectively. Alternatively, close it with a new suture. Some authors dissect a mucosal flap akin to that used in plastic fistula closure. Finally, trim the external excess to just below skin level. The plug does not have to be anchored here.

date of update: 01.10.2022
date of publication: 17.05.2021

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