Ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract (LIFT) to treat anal fistula: early results from a prospective observational study.
ABSTRACT Ligation of the intersphincteric tract (LIFT), a novel sphincter-saving technique, has been recently described with promising results. Literature data are still scant. In this prospective observational study, we present our experience with this technique.
Between October 2010 and April 2011, 18 patients with 'complex' fistulas underwent LIFT. All patients were enrolled in the study after a physical examination including digital examination and proctoscopy. For the purpose of this pilot study, fistulas were classified as complex if any of the following conditions were present: tract crossing more than 30% of the external sphincter, anterior fistula in a woman, recurrent fistula or pre-existing incontinence. Endpoints were healing time, presence of recurrence, faecal incontinence and surgical complications.
Ten patients were men and 8 were women; mean age was 39 years; minimum follow-up was 4 months. Three patients required drainage seton insertion and delayed LIFT. After LIFT, 1 patient experienced haemorrhoidal thrombosis. At the end of the follow-up, 15 patients (83%) healed with no recurrence. Three patients had persistent symptoms and required further surgical treatment. We did not observe postoperative worsening of continence.
Results from our pilot study indicate that this novel sphincter-saving approach is effective and safe for treating complex anal fistula.
Article: Anal fistula.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Anal fistula is a common cause of chronic irritation to both patients and surgeons. Treatment failure rates may be decreased by a good appreciation of normal anorectal anatomy and fistula pathoanatomy, as well as a wide and practical knowledge of the possible treatment regimens. The various treatment options available for acute abscesses as well as simple and complex anal fistulae are presented and discussed. Identification of the patient at risk of postoperative anal incontinence or of the difficult or high fistula may allow treatment in a specialized proctology unit.British Journal of Surgery 04/1992; 79(3):197-205. · 4.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Low transsphincteric fistulas less than 1/3 of the sphincter complex are easy to treat by fistulotomy with a high success rate. High transsphincteric fistulas remain a surgical challenge. Various surgical procedures are available, but recurrence rates of these techniques are disappointingly high. The mucosal flap advancement is considered the gold standard for the treatment of high perianal fistula of cryptoglandular origin by most colorectal surgeons. In the literature a recurrence rate between 0 and 63% is reported for the mucosal flap advancement. Recently Armstrong and colleagues reported on a new biologic anal fistula plug, a bioabsorbable xenograft made of lyophilized porcine intestinal submucosa. Their prospective series of 15 patients with high perianal fistula treated with the anal fistula plug showed promising results. The anal fistula plug trial is designed to compare the anal fistula plug with the mucosal flap advancement in the treatment of high perianal fistula in terms of success rate, continence, postoperative pain, and quality of life. The PLUG trial is a randomized controlled multicenter trial. Sixty patients with high perianal fistulas of cryptoglandular origin will be randomized to either the fistula plug or the mucosal advancement flap. Study parameters will be anorectal fistula closure-rate, continence, post-operative pain, and quality of life. Patients will be followed-up at two weeks, four weeks, and 16 weeks. At the final follow-up closure rate is determined by clinical examination by a surgeon blinded for the intervention. Before broadly implementing the anal fistula plug results of randomized trials using the plug should be awaited. This randomized controlled trial comparing the anal fistula plug and the mucosal advancement flap should provide evidence regarding the effectiveness of the anal fistula plug in the treatment of high perianal fistulas. ISRCTN: 97376902.BMC Surgery 02/2008; 8:11. · 1.97 Impact Factor
- British medical journal 03/1961; 1(5224):463-9.