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.
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ABSTRACT: Broadly, complex fistulas are those that are not low transsphincteric or intersphincteric. The objectives of surgical management are to achieve fistula healing, prevent recurrences and maintain continence. The risk of incontinence associated with treatment ranges from 10% to 57%. The objective of this manuscript is to review the current literature to date on the ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract procedure (LIFT procedure) as a treatment option in these types of fistula. A search was conducted in Medline, PUBMED, EMBASE and ISI Web of Knowledge, and studies published from January 2009 to May 2013 were included. The primary outcomes were fistula healing rates, mean healing time and patient satisfaction with this surgical technique. Eighteen studies were included in this review. The total number of patients included was 592 (65% male). The median age reported was 42.8 years. The most common type of fistula included was transsphincteric (73.3% of cases). The mean healing rate reported was 74.6%. The risk factors for failure discovered were obesity, smoking, multiple previous surgeries and the length of the fistula tract. The mean healing time was 5.5 wk, and the mean follow-up period was 42.3 wk. The patient satisfaction rates ranged from 72% to 100%. No de novo incontinence developed secondary to the LIFT procedure. There is not enough evidence that variants in the surgical technique achieve better outcomes (Bio-LIFT, LIFT-Plug, LIFT-Plus). This review indicates that the LIFT procedure is primarily effective for transsphincteric fistulas with an overall fistula closure of 74.6% and has a low impact on fecal continence. This procedure produces better outcomes at the first surgical attempt.World Journal of Gastroenterology 10/2013; 19(40):6805-6813. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sphincter-preserving approaches to treat anal fistula do not jeopardize continence; however, healing rates are suboptimal. In this context, ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract (LIFT) can be considered promising offering high success rates and a relatively simple procedure. This review aimed to investigate the outcomes of LIFT to treat anal fistula. We conducted a systematic review of the Pubmed, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases, to retrieve all relevant scientific original articles and scientific abstracts (Web of Science) related to the LIFT procedure for anal fistula between January 2007 and March 2013. The search yielded 24 original articles including 1,110 patients; these included one randomized controlled study, three case control studies, and 20 case series. Most studies included patients with trans-sphincteric or complex fistula, not amenable to fistulotomy. During a pooled mean 10.3 months of follow-up, the mean success, incontinence, intraoperative, and postoperative complication rates were 76.4, 0, 0, and 5.5 %, respectively. A sensitivity analysis showed that the impact on success in terms of follow-up duration, study size, and combining other procedures was limited. There was no association between pre-LIFT drainage seton and success of LIFT. Ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract appears to be an effective and safe treatment for trans-sphincteric or complex anal fistula. Combining other procedures and a pre-LIFT drainage seton does not seem to confer any added benefit in terms of success. However, given the lack of prospective randomized trials, interpretation of these data must be cautious. Further trials are mandatory to identify predictive factors for success, and true effectiveness of the LIFT compared to other sphincter-preserving procedures to treat anal fistula.Techniques in Coloproctology 06/2014; · 1.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to report a simple, effective and safe procedure, associated with minimal risk of incontinence and recurrence, for treating complex anal fistulas.Techniques in Coloproctology 08/2014; · 1.54 Impact Factor