Perianal fistula: with Seton tube

Case contributed by Dr Chris O'Donnell


Painful anus with vaginal discharge due to a perianal fistula treated with insertion of a Seton tube.

Patient Data

Age: 30
Gender: Female

Radio-opaque Seton tube passing from the anus to the fistula and out to the skin in a loop

Case Discussion

Seton tube placement involves passing a tube from the skin into the fistula entering the anal canal. Tube is then pulled through to the anal verge and joined to the skin end to form a loop.  It is left in situ for weeks to months to allow adequate drainage of the fistulous tract prior to fistulectomy. In some cases it is placed under tension (so-called "cutting Seton") and periodically tightened such that it slowly pulls through to the outside via the sphincters allowing them to heal slowly behind the tube, reducing the risk of faecal incontinence.

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Case information

rID: 43619
Case created: 19th Mar 2016
Last edited: 29th Apr 2017
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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