has anyone had their fistula plugged with pig tissue?

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Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 6/8/2009 4:02 PM (GMT -7)   
If so, were you on anti-TNF medication at the time?

What sorts of outcomes did you have?

Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2346
   Posted 6/8/2009 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm interested in the replies. My surgeon had originally wanted to try this on me, but after finding out more about it and talking to the makers, he said no because of the crohns.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 6/9/2009 7:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I haven't tried this, but I have a Crohnie friend who's tried twice. Both attempts failed... She was not on TNF meds for either. It's two weeks bed rest after (for her)... That makes me wonder how I could ever try it. The success rate is not great, but I think I'd try it if it weren't for the 2 weeks. I am a single mom. Not sure how I could manage 2 weeks without overdoing myself. Someone's got to wash clothes and make dinner. (No family anywhere nearby either.)

I keep hoping others will reply with their experiences. It is something I've thought about trying at some point.
--female dx as UC in '04 (1st symptoms in '03), switched to Crohn's in '05, 1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine  --rejected (reaction/didn't work): Asacol, AZA, 6-MP, MTX, Remicade, Humira, prednisone, Tysabri
--Prochymal in Phase III study (can't wait til it's approved!)
--currently taking methylprednisolone 40mg-taper.  Started Cimzia first dose 2/10/09.  Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 6/9/2009 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow, they didn't mention two weeks of bed rest to me. I wonder if that is because of the procedure itself, or where the fistula is? Was your friend's a perianal fistula, or somewhere else?

They told me it would have a low success rate and a risk of complications afterwards, but that it has a better chance of success if we're on Rem or Humira when they operate. That said, they still sounded keen to go ahead with it. I have a healthy distrust of surgeons :-) so thought I'd ask about it here too: interesting that so few of us seem to have had this procedure performed.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/9/2009 4:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I've visited this forum many times over the last few years, but finally joined so I could reply to your post.

My son had two perianal fistulas within one year when he was a teenager. Both were plugged with the Surgisis plug (the pig tissue plug). Both times it was successful. Before the plugs were placed, he had to have setons for a while (he had abcesses with the fistulas). He was on cipro, flagyl, Asacol, 6-mp, and Remicade at the time.

After each surgery, he had to take it easy for several weeks, but was able to go back to school within a week. If I remember correctly, the main thing that the surgeon stresses was that there was to be no lifting and no strenuous activity for about a month. I feel sure he would have the plug again if he ever gets another fistula.

Did you know that the FDA just approved a synthetic plug last month? It is made by Gore.

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 6/9/2009 4:50 PM (GMT -7)   
That's great. Thanks, Skyland, and welcome.

No lifting - interesting. There's nobody who can help me with the running of this household, so thanks. You've given me a good question to ask the surgeons :-).
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

New meds thread

Crohn's Kid :(
New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/9/2009 11:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Posting under my son's account that I just signed him up for. He is 13, sweetest kid on Earth, and was diagnosed with CD Summer '06. Has two perianal fistulas. On immuran, flagyl, and remicade. Having a bad bout so getting 7.5 (was 5) tomorrow, at week 7 (vice normally 8).

Our DR believes in avoiding surgery down there because of the possible complications. I have never even heard of the option described in this post.

I would love to hear more.

P.S. I hope my son finds some comfort getting on here and sharing his feelings about his CD.

God Bless

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/10/2009 2:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I had the plug put in 2 years ago. It was unsuccessful. I had the 2 weeks of laying on my belly and then 6 weeks of no strenuous activity. I kinda pushed the 6 weeks so I'm wondering if that didn't help the success! At the time I was on Remicade and 6-mp.
At this time I have 2 perianal fistulas with setons in place. I am currently on Cimzia and am scheduled to have a new procedure done next friday. They are going to cut a flap of my skin and fold it over the opening, hoping my body will heal itself closed. I go to the drs this friday to learn more but am hopeful this has a better success rate.
Diagonsed with crohns in '98
Bowel resection in '98
Abscess started in '04
Started remicade in '05 and have continued to have abscess/fistula problems since
Fistula plug in July '07

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 6/11/2009 10:03 AM (GMT -7)   
I had the plug for a Anal-Vaginal Fistula and it was a success. I had a seton in for 6 weeks for draining before surgery and only a few weeks recovery time but was back to work within the same week. I hear that this type of procedure does not have a large success rate with Crohn's patients but my surgeon was actually doing a study based upon this surgery with 17 other Crohn's patients and they were all successes. Along with the plug she also administered a flap at one opening to double secure it. Hope this gives you a postive outlook! It may be worth the risk to see if your body can handle it.
Oh and I was on Imuran during these procedures
Age: 26 Female
Diagnosed at 6 with Crohn's
Bal-resection in 98'
been on steroids, anti-biotics, Asacol, Pentasa, Immuran, Remicade, Humira...
Humira 12/14/08 and stopped after 3rd dose
Began LDN Feb 08

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1118
   Posted 6/11/2009 10:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi can this be used on fistula's that have come through the stomach as well( i can't spell the long name for it!!) thanks Bev x

Diagnosed with crohn's at 13 now 42
resection, right hemi 1993 In remmision from 93 till last sept with no meds or docs
2 resections small bowel  and fistula jan 09 and given temp stoma
 No maintance drugs as such on B12 shots,iron syrup,loperimide, 20mg EScitalopram 4 anxiety.

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