What is a seton? 

A seton is a drainage device used to control and treat an anal fistulous abscess. It is inserted through and through a fistula tract and secured to itself, thus making a circle about some portion of the anal sphincter muscle. It serves as a cutting device to exteriorize the fistula slowly. Typical setons are Penrose drains, Silastic vessel loops, or silk sutures.

common indications for inserting a seton

• High fistulous abscesses involving greater than one-half the length of the anal canal muscle

• Anterior fistulas in a woman

• Inflammatory bowel disease

• Older adult patients or patients with multiple previous anorectal surgeries


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