Surgery for an anal fistula may result in recurrence or impairment of continence. The ideal treatment for an anal fistula should be associated with low recurrence rates, minimal incontinence and good quality of life. Because of the risk of a change in continence with conventional techniques, sphincter-preserving techniques for the management complex anal fistulae have been evaluated. First, the anal fistula plug is made of lyophilized porcine intestinal submucosa. The anal fistula plug is expected to provide a collagen scaffold to promote tissue in growth and fistula healing. Another addition to the sphincter-preserving options is the ligation of intersphincteric fistula tract procedure. This technique is based on the concept of secure closure of the internal opening and concomitant removal of infected cryptoglandular tissue in the intersphincteric plane. Recently, cell therapy for an anal fistula has been described. Adipose-derived stem cells have two biologic properties, namely, ability to suppress inflammation and differentiation potential. These properties are useful for the regeneration or the repair of damaged tissues. This article discusses the rationales for, the estimated efficacies of, and the limitations of new sphincter-preserving techniques for the treatment of anal fistulae.
Anal fistula; Rectal fistula; Fecal incontinence
At present, transanal advancement flap repair (TAFR) is the treatment of choice for transsphincteric fistulas passing through the upper and middle third of the external anal sphincter. It has been suggested that epithelialization of the fistula tract contributes to the failure of the treatment. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of epithelialization of the fistula tract and to study its effect on the outcome of TAFR and TAFR combined with ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract (LIFT).
Forty-four patients with a high transsphincteric fistula of cryptoglandular origin underwent TAFR. Nine of these patients underwent a combined procedure of TAFR with LIFT. In all patients the fistula tract was excised from the external opening up to the outer border of the external anal sphincter. In patients undergoing TAFR combined with LIFT an additional central part of the intersphincteric fistula tract was excised. A total of 53 specimens were submitted. Histopathological examination of the specimens was carried out by a pathologist, blinded for clinical data.
Epithelialization of the distal and intersphincteric fistula tract was observed in only 25 and 22% of fistulas, respectively. There was no difference in outcome between fistulas with or without epithelialization.
Epithelialization of high transsphincteric fistulas is rare and does not affect the outcome of TAFR and TAFR combined with LIFT.
Transanal advancement flap repair; Ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract; Transsphincteric fistulas; Epithelialization
Anorectal abscess and fistula are among the most common diseases encountered in adults. Abscess and fistula should be considered the acute and chronic phase of the same anorectal infection. Abscesses are thought to begin as an infection in the anal glands spreading into adjacent spaces and resulting in fistulas in ~40% of cases. The treatment of an anorectal abscess is early, adequate, dependent drainage. The treatment of a fistula, although surgical in all cases, is more complex due to the possibility of fecal incontinence as a result of sphincterotomy. Primary fistulotomy and cutting setons have the same incidence of fecal incontinence depending on the complexity of the fistula. So even though the aim of a surgical procedure is to cure a fistula, conservative management short of major sphincterotomy is warranted to preserve fecal incontinence. However, trading radical surgery for conservative (nonsphincter cutting) procedures such as a draining seton, fibrin sealant, anal fistula plug, endorectal advancement flap, dermal island flap, anoplasty, and LIFT (ligation of intersphincteric fistula tract) procedure all result in more recurrence/persistence requiring repeated operations in many cases. A surgeon dealing with fistulas on a regular basis must tailor various operations to the needs of the patient depending on the complexity of the fistula encountered.
Fistula; abscess; anorectal infection; sphincterotomy; fecal incontinence
Backgrounds and aim
In recent decades, fibrin glue has appeared as an alternative treatment for high perianal fistulas. Early results seemed promising, with high success rates being reported. However, with increasing follow-up, the enthusiasm was tempered because of disappointing results. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the additional value of fibrin glue in combination with transanal advancement flap, compared to advancement flap alone, for the treatment of high transsphincteric fistulas of cryptoglandular origin.
Materials and methods
Between January 1995 and January 2006, 127 patients were operated for high perianal fistulas with an advancement flap. After exclusion of patients with inflammatory bowel disease or HIV, 80 patients remained. A consecutive series of 26 patients had an advancement flap combined with obliteration of the fistula tract with fibrin glue. Patients were matched for prior fistula surgery, and the advancement was performed identically in all patients. In the fibrin glue group, glue was installed retrogradely in the fistula tract after the advancement was completed and the fistula tract had been curetted.
Minimal follow-up after surgery was 13 months [median of 67 months (range, 13–127)]. The overall recurrence rate was 26% (n = 21). Recurrence rates for advancement flap alone vs the combination with glue were 13% vs 56% (p = 0.014) in the group without previous fistula surgery and 23% vs 41% (p = 0.216) in the group with previous fistula surgery.
Obliterating the fistula tract with fibrin glue was associated with worse outcome after rectal advancement flap for high perianal fistulas.
Rectal fistula; Surgery; Recurrence; Fibrin glue; Advancement
Background: Treatment of high anal fistulas may be associated with a high risk of continence disorders. Beside traditional procedure of flap-reconstruction the occlusion of the fistula tract using fistula-plugs offers a new sphincter-saving treatment option. In this study for the first time results from Germany are described.
Patients and method: 40 patients (30 male, 10 female, age 51±12 years) underwent closure of a high trans-sphincteric (n=28) or supra-sphincteric (n=12) fistula with Gore BioA Fistula Plug® in three surgical departments. The surgical procedures had been performed by five colorectal surgeons. Four patients had Crohn’s disease. Preoperatively 33 patients were completely continent; seven patients complained of minor continence disorders. Treatment of the patients was performed on a intent-to-treat basis and evaluation of the results was retrospective using pooled data from each center.
Results: Postoperatively one patient developed an abscess, which had to be managed surgically. In two patients the plug had fallen out within the first two weeks postoperatively. Six months after surgery the fistula has been healed in 20 patients (50.0%). Three additional fistulas healed after 7, 9 rsp. 12 months. The overall healing-rate was 57.5% (23/40). The healing rate differs considerably between the surgeons from 0 to 75% and depends on the number of previous interventions. In patients having only drainage of the abscess success occurred in 63.6% (14/22) whereas in patients after one or more flap fistula reconstruction the healing rate decreased slightly to 50% (9/18). No patient complained about any impairment of his preoperative continence status.
Conclusion: By occlusion of high anal fistulas with a plug technique definitive healing could be achieved in nearly every second patients. Previous surgery seems to have a negative impact on success rate. We have not observed any negative impact on anal continence. From that point of view anal fistula plugs might be discussed as a treatment option for high anal fistulas, but further studies are needed to gain conclusive evidence.
complex fistula-in-ano; transsphincteric fistula; suprasphincteric fistula; surgical procedures; fecal incontinence; fistula plug
Individuals with impaired immunity are at higher risk of perianal diseases. Concerning complex anal fistulas impaired healing and complication rates are also higher. Definitive treatment of a fistula aims controlling the purulent discharge and prevents its recurrence. It depends mainly on the trajectory of the fistula and the underlying disease.
We present a case of a HIV-positive patient with a complex extrasphincteric anal fistula who was treated successfully with fibrin glue application. We further, discuss tips and tricks when applying fibrin glue as plugging material in complex anal fistulas.
A sixty-one-year-old HIV-positive male referred to us for warts and extrasphincteric fistula. Because of the patients' immunological status, we opted against surgery and recommended fibrin glue plugging. The patient was discharged the same day. A follow-up examination was performed 5 days after the initial fibrin glue application showing that the fistula canal was obstructed. Three months and a year post-intervention the fistula tract remains closed.
The best treatment for a disease gives at least the same result with the other treatments with minimised risk for the life of the patient and minimal application effort. Conservative closure of fistula with fibrin plugging is simple, safe and with less morbidity than surgery. Our patient was successfully treated without endangering his life despite his precarious medical state. Not everybody believes in the effectiveness of fibrin glue application, however we consider this solution in cases of complex fistulas at least as primary procedure in special populations such as the immunosupressed.
Fistula-in-ano is the most common form of perineal sepsis. Typically, a fistula includes an internal opening, a track, and an external opening. The external opening might acutely appear following infection and/or an abscess, or more insiduously in a chronic manner. Management includes control of infection, assessment of the fistulous track in relation to the anal sphincter muscle, and finally, definitive treatment of the fistula. Fistulotomy was the most commonly used mode of management, but concerns about post-fistulotomy incontinence prompted the use of sphincter preserving techniques such as advancement flaps, fibrin glue, collagen fistula plug, ligation of the intersphincteric fistula track, and stem cells. Many descriptive and comparative studies have evaluated these different techniques with variable outcomes. The lack of consistent results, level I evidence, or long-term follow-up, as well as the heterogeneity of fistula pathology has prevented a definitive treatment algorithm. This article will review the most commonly available modalities and techniques for managing idiopathic fistula-in-ano.
Anal fistula; Seton; Fistulotomy; Advancement flap; Fibrin glue; Fistula plug
Transanal advancement flap repair (TAFR) provides a useful tool in the treatment of high transsphincteric fistulas. Recent studies indicate that TAFR fails in one out of three patients. Until now, no definite predictive factor for failure has been identified. Although some authors have reported that preoperative seton drainage might improve the outcome of TAFR, this could not be confirmed by others. We conducted the present study to assess the influence of preoperative seton drainage on the outcome of TAFR in a relatively large series.
Between December 1992 and June 2008, a consecutive series of 278 patients [M/F = 179:99, median age 46 years (range, 19–73 years)] with cryptoglandular, transsphincteric fistula, passing through the upper or middle third of the external anal sphincter underwent TAFR. Patients were recruited from the colorectal units of two university hospitals (Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, n = 211; and Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, n = 67). Baseline characteristics did not differ between the two clinics. Sixty-eight of these patients underwent preoperative seton drainage for at least 2 months and until the day of the flap repair.
Median healing time was 2.2 months. In patients without preoperative seton drainage, the healing rate was 63%, whereas the healing rate was 67% in patients who underwent preoperative seton drainage. This difference was not statistically significant. No differences in healing rates were found between the series from Leiden and Rotterdam.
Preoperative seton drainage does not improve the outcome of TAFR.
Perianal fistula; Transanal advancement flap repair; Seton; Drainage
AIM: To investigate a new technique of the anorectal fistula treatment with acellular extracellular matrix (AEM).
METHODS: Thirty patients with anorectal fistula were treated with AEM. All fistula tracts and primary openings were identified using conventional fistula probe. All tracts were curetted with curet and irrigated with hydrogen peroxide and metronidazole. The AEM was pulled into the fistula tract from secondary to primary opening. The material was secured at the level of the primary opening. The excess AEM was trimmed at skin level at the secondary opening.
RESULTS: All of the 30 patients had successful closure of their fistula after a 7-14 d follow-up. The healing rate of anal fistula in treatment group was 100%. The ache time, healing time and anal deformation of treatment group were obviously superior to traditional surgical methods.
CONCLUSION: Using AEM anal fistula plug in treatment that causes the anorectal fistula is safe and successful in 100% of patients. It can reduce pain, shorten disease course and protect anal function.
Acellular extracellular matrix; Anorectal fistula
Complex perianal fistulas may at times be very difficult to treat. New vascularised tissue can reach the perineum from leg muscles and the omentum. A less well-known source is the labial fat tissue (modified Martius graft) which has a robust posterolateral pedicle and which can be useful as an adjunctive technique for high anterior anal and rectovaginal fistulas. Between November 1993 and July 1997, eight women (age range 18-55 years) underwent modified Martius grafting, six of the eight having a rectovaginal fistula and two a high complex (suprasphincteric) perianal fistula. Anorectal advancement flaps were performed in five patients and three had a transperineal approach with simultaneous anterior sphincter repair because of concurrent anal incontinence. All patients had a defunctioning stoma. The fistula healed in six of the eight patients (75%) and recurred in two patients. The stoma has been closed in five of the eight patients (one patient's fistula has healed but her stoma cannot be closed because of anal incontinence). This is a useful technique when confronted with a difficult anterior fistula in women.
Transanal advancement flap repair (TAFR) has been advocated as the treatment of choice for transsphincteric fistulas passing through the upper or middle third of the external anal sphincter. It is not clear whether previous attempts at repair adversely affect the outcome of TAFR. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the success rate of a repeat TAFR and to assess the impact of such a second procedure on the overall healing rate of high transsphincteric fistulas and on fecal continence.
Between January 2001 and January 2005, a consecutive series of 87 patients (62 males; median age, 49 (range, 27–73) years) underwent TAFR. Median follow-up was 15 (range, 2–50) months. Patients in whom the initial operation failed were offered two further treatment options: a second flap repair or a long-term indwelling seton drainage. Twenty-six patients (male:female ratio, 5:2; median age, 51 (range, 31–72) years) preferred a repeat repair. Continence status was evaluated before and after the procedures by using the Rockwood Faecal Incontinence Severity Index (RFISI).
The healing rate after the first TAFR was 67 percent. Of the 29 patients in whom the initial procedure failed, 26 underwent a repeat TAFR. The healing rate after this second procedure was 69 percent, resulting in an overall success rate of 90 percent. Both before and after the first attempt of TAFR, the median RFISI was 7 (range, 0–34). In patients who underwent a second TAFR, the median RFISI before and after this procedure was 9 (range, 0–34) and 8 (range, 0–34), respectively. None of these changes were statistically significant.
Repeat TAFR increases the overall healing rate of high transsphincteric fistulas from 67 percent after one attempt to 90 percent after two attempts without a deteriorating effect on fecal continence.
Transsphincteric fistula; Transanal advancement flap repair; Repeat repair; Fecal incontinence
Background. In this prospective randomised study, the staged mucosal advancement flap is compared with staged fibrin sealant application in the treatment of perianal fistulas.
Methods. All patients with high complex cryptoglandular fistulas were randomised to closure of the internal opening by a mucosal advancement flap (MF) or injection with fibrin sealant (FS) after treatment with setons. Recurrence rate and incontinence disorders were explored.
Results. The MF group (5 females and 10 males) with a median age of 51 years and a median followup of 52 months. The FS group (4 females and 11 males) with a median age of 45 years and a median followup of 49 months. Three (20%) patients of the MF group had a recurrent fistula compared to 9 (60%) of the FS group (P = 0.03). No new continence disorders developed.
Conclusion. Staged FS injection has a much lower success rate compared to MF.
AIM: To investigate the efficacy of the anal fistula plug (AFP) compared to the mucosa advancement flap (MAF), considered the best procedure for patients with a complex anal fistula.
METHODS: The literature search included PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library and OVID original studies on the topic of AFP compared to MAF for complex fistula-in-ano that had a deadline for publication by April 2011. Randomized controlled trials, controlled clinical trials and prospective cohort studies were included in the review. After information collection, a meta-analysis was performed using data on overall success rates as well as incidence of incontinence and morbidity. The quality of postoperative life was also included with the clinical results.
RESULTS: Six studies involving 408 patients (AFP = 167, MAF = 241) were included in the meta-analysis. The differences in the overall success rates and incidence of fistula recurrence were not statistically significant between the AFP and MAF [risk difference (RD) = -0.12, 95%CI: -0.39 - 0.14; RD = 0.13; 95%CI: -0.18 - 0.43, respectively]. However, for the AFP, the risk of postoperative impaired continence was lower (RD = -0.08, 95%CI: -0.15 - -0.02) as was the incidence of other complications (RD = -0.06, 95%CI: -0.11 - -0.00). The postoperative quality of life, for patients treated using the AFP was superior to that of the MAF patients. Patients treated with the AFP had less persistent pain of a shorter duration and the healing time of the fistula and hospital stay were also reduced.
CONCLUSION: The AFP is an effective procedure for patients with a complex anal fistula; it has the same success rate but a lower risk of complications than the MAF and may also be associated with an improved postoperative quality of life. Additional evidence is needed to confirm these findings.
Complex anal fistula; Anal fistula plug; Mucosa advancement flap; Meta-analysis
Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the outcome of fibrin glue in high and low anal fistulas.
Methods: A prospective, non-randomized trial was carried out on 30 patients who were diagnosed to have fistulas in ano. They were evaluated by categorizing them into high (with the internal opening above the anorectal ring)(14/30) and low anal fistulas (with the internal opening below the anorectal ring)(16/30). The fibrin glue was instilled in their anal tracts. The character of the anal tract, whether it was single or multiple and primary or recurrent, was analyzed. The outcome in terms of a postoperative discharge (failure), the incidence of a postoperative perianal pain/abscess and the glue reaction, was noted at 1 week, 1 month, 3 months and 6 months. A success was defined as the absence of any discharge at 6 months.
Results: Fourteen patients with high anal fistulas and 16 with low anal fistulas (with a mean age of 48.5yrs) were treated with fibrin glue. 19 patients had primary tracts (7- high group and 12- low group) and 11 had recurrent tracts (7- high group and 4- low group). 20 fistulas were single tracted (8- high and 12- low) and ten were multiple tracted (6- high and 4-low). The success rate at 6 months was 57.14% in the high group and it was 81.25% in the low group. The failure rate was 85.71% in the recurrent high fistula group as compared to 25% in the recurrent low fistula group (p=0.049). 25% of the single tracted high fistulas failed to heal as compared to a 100% healing rate in the single low fistulas group (p=0.90).
Conclusion: This procedure is thus, superior to the conventional surgical treatment, in terms of the patient comfort, an undisturbed sphincter function, a reduced overall hospital stay, wound pain and the complications and adverse reactions. It showed the best results in the primary, single tracted and the low anal fistulas.
Fistula in ano; Fibrin glue; Failed fistula; Recurrenct fistula
Setons are employed in high perianal fistulae. Our study aimed to use multiple setons in addition to a partial fistulotomy in high perianal fistulae involving the sphincter complex to combine the effects of cutting and drainage of the fistulous tract. This prospective study included 16 patients over a period of 4 years who presented with high perianal fistulae. The internal opening was identified and tract laid open till the dentate line. Four prolene threads were passed along the remainder of the tract and taken out through the external opening. One was tied tightly while the others were tightened every 7 days. No patients developed major faecal incontinence. Fistula recurred in one patient within a year and one patient had occasional incontinence to flatus. Multiple setons after partial fistulotomy is an effective treatment for high anal fistulae with low incidence of incontinence and recurrence and adequate patient satisfaction.
Partial fistulotomy; Multiple setons; Cutting setons; Draining setons; High perianal fistula
Several techniques have been described for the management of fistula-in-ano, but all carry their own risks of recurrence and incontinence. We conducted a prospective study to assess type of presentation, treatment strategy and outcome over a 5-year period.
Between 1st January 2005 and 31st March 2011 247 patients presenting with anal fistulas were treated at the University Hospital Tor Vergata and were included in the present prospective study. Mean age was 47 years (range 16-76 years); minimum follow-up period was 6 months (mean 40, range 6-74 months).
Patients were treated using 4 operative approaches: fistulotomy, fistulectomy, seton placement and rectal advancement flap. Data analyzed included: age, gender, type of fistula, operative intervention, healing rate, postoperative complications, reinterventions and recurrence.
Etiologies of fistulas were cryptoglandular (n = 218), Crohn's disease (n = 26) and Ulcerative Colitis (n = 3). Fistulae were classified as simple -intersphincteric 57 (23%), low transphincteric 28 (11%) and complex -high transphicteric 122 (49%), suprasphincteric 2 (0.8%), extrasphinteric 2 (0.8%), recto-vaginal 7 (2.8%) Crohn 26 (10%) and UC 3 (1.2%).
The most common surgical procedure was the placement of seton (62%), usually applied in case of complex fistulae and Crohn's patients.
Eighty-five patients (34%) underwent fistulotomy, mainly for intersphincteric and mid/low transphincteric tracts. Crohn's patients were submitted to placement of one or more loose setons.
The main treatment successfully eradicated the primary fistula tract in 151/247 patients (61%). Three cases of major incontinence (1.3%) were detected during the follow-up period; Furthermore, three patients complained minor incontinence that was successfully treated by biofeedback and permacol injection into the internal anal sphincter.
This prospective audit demonstrates an high proportion of complex anal fistulae treated by seton placement that was the most common surgical technique adopted to treat our patients as a first line. Nevertheless, a good outcome was achieved in the majority of patients with a limited rate of faecal incontinence (6/247 = 2.4%). New technologies provide promising alternatives to traditional methods of management particularly in case of complex fistulas. There is, however, a real need for high-quality randomized control trials to evaluate the different surgical and non surgical treatment options.
Anal fistulae – abnormal connections between two epithelialized surfaces, such as between the intestine and the perianal skin – are relatively common, especially debilitating and can be very difficult to treat. In the majority of cases, they occur secondary to abscesses arising from infected anal glands, but can also be due to, among others, Crohn’s disease, trauma or tuberculosis. Traditionally, surgery has been the treatment of choice, not without, however, the inherent risk of complications. This review discusses fistulae classification, imaging, and traditional and current treatment options. Finally, a brief introduction to ongoing and new research in the treatment of fistulae is presented.
Anal fistulae are common and debilitating; they are characterized by severe pain and discharge. They arise following infection near the anal canal, or as a primary event from an abscess in the abdomen, fistulating into the vagina or perianal skin. The term ‘cryptoglandular’ is given to abscesses arising from the anal glands.
For many years, the treatment of choice was to lay open the fistula; however, this risks causing incontinence with potentially devastating consequences. Alternative surgical treatments include setons, fibrin glue, collagen plugs and flaps to cover the internal fistula opening. These have achieved varying degrees of success, as will be discussed. The present review also discusses anal fistulae in light of much recently published literature. Currently, anal fistulae remain challenging and require specialist expertise; however, new treatment options are on the horizon.
Anal; Assessment; Fistula; Surgery; Treatment
Video-assisted anal fistula treatment (VAAFT) is a novel minimally invasive and sphincter-saving technique for treating complex fistulas. The aim of this report is to describe the procedural steps and preliminary results of VAAFT.
Karl Storz Video Equipment is used. Key steps are visualization of the fistula tract using the fistuloscope, correct localization of the internal fistula opening under direct vision, endoscopic treatment of the fistula and closure of the internal opening using a stapler or cutaneous-mucosal flap. Diagnostic fistuloscopy under irrigation is followed by an operative phase of fulguration of the fistula tract, closure of the internal opening and suture reinforcement with cyanoacrylate.
From May 2006 to May 2011, we operated on 136 patients using VAAFT. Ninety-eight patients were followed up for a minimum of 6 months. No major complications occurred. In most cases, both short-term and long-term postoperative pain was acceptable. Primary healing was achieved in 72 patients (73.5%) within 2–3 months of the operation. Sixty-two patients were followed up for more than 1 year. The percentage of the patients healed after 1 year was 87.1%.
The main feature of the VAAFT technique is that the procedure is performed entirely under direct endoluminal vision. With this approach, the internal opening can be found in 82.6% of cases. Moreover, fistuloscopy helps to identify any possible secondary tracts or chronic abscesses. The VAAFT technique is sphincter-saving, and the surgical wounds are extremely small. Our preliminary results are very promising.
Anal fistula; Fistuloscopy; Video-assisted anal fistula treatment; Complex anal fistula; Sphincter- saving
Anal fistula is among the most common illnesses affecting man. Medical literature dating back to 400 BC has discussed this problem. Various causative factors have been proposed throughout the centuries, but it appears that the majority of fistulas unrelated to specific causes (e.g. Tuberculosis, Crohn’s disease) result from infection (abscess) in anal glands extending from the intersphincteric plane to various anorectal spaces. The tubular structure of an anal fistula easily yields itself to division or unroofing (fistulotomy) or excision (fistulectomy) in most cases. The problem with this single, yet effective, treatment plan is that depending on the thickness of sphincter muscle the fistula transgresses, the patient will have varying degrees of fecal incontinence from minor to total. In an attempt to preserve continence, various procedures have been proposed to deal with the fistulas. These include: (1) simple drainage (Seton); (2) closure of fistula tract using fibrin sealant or anal fistula plug; (3) closure of primary opening using endorectal or dermal flaps, and more recently; and (4) ligation of intersphincteric fistula tract (LIFT). In most complex cases (i.e. Crohn’s disease), a proximal fecal diversion offers a measure of symptomatic relief. The fact remains that an “ideal” procedure for anal fistula remains elusive. The failure of each sphincter-preserving procedure (30%-50% recurrence) often results in multiple operations. In essence, the price of preservation of continence at all cost is multiple and often different operations, prolonged disability and disappointment for the patient and the surgeon. Nevertheless, the surgeon treating anal fistulas on an occasional basis should never hesitate in referring the patient to a specialist. Conversely, an expert colorectal surgeon must be familiar with many different operations in order to selectively tailor an operation to the individual patient.
Fistula; Abscess; Fibrin sealant; Anal fistula plug; Dermal advancement flap; Endorectal flap; Ligation of intersphincteric fistula tract procedure
Rectovaginal fistulas are abnormal epithelial-lined connections between the rectum and vagina. They can be quite bothersome to both the patient and the surgeon due to their irritating and embarrassing symptoms and high failure rate after repair. An individualized, systematic approach to these fistulas based on their size, location, and etiology provides a more concise treatment plan. Treatment options of medical therapy, advancement flaps, plugs, fistula ligation, and tissue interposition are discussed.
Rectovaginal fistula; advancement flap; fistulotomy
AIM: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of traditional Chinese surgical treatment for anal fistulae with secondary tracks and abscess.
METHODS: Sixty patients with intersphincteric or transsphincteric anal fistulas with secondary tracks and abscess were randomly divided into study group [suture dragging combined with pad compression (SDPC)] and control group [fistulotomy (FSLT)]. In the SDPC group, the internal opening was excised and incisions at external openings were made for drainage. Silk sutures were put through every two incisions and knotted in loose state. The suture dragging process started from the first day after surgery and the pad compression process started when all sutures were removed as wound tissue became fresh and without discharge. In the FSLT group, the internal opening and all tracts were laid open and cleaned by normal saline postoperatively till all wounds healed. The time of healing, postoperative pain score (visual analogue scale), recurrence rate, patient satisfaction, incontinence evaluation and anorectal manometry before and after the treatment were examined.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the two groups regarding age, gender and fistulae type. The time of healing was significantly shorter (24.33 d in SDPC vs 31.57 d in FSLT, P < 0.01) and the patient satisfaction score at 1 mo postoperative follow-up was significantly higher in the SDPC group (4.07 in SDPC vs 3.37 in FSLT, P < 0.05). The mean maximal postoperative pain scores were 5.83 ± 2.5 in SDPC vs 6.37 ± 2.33 in FSLT and the recurrence rates were 3.33 in SDPC vs 0 in FSLT. None of the patients in the two groups experienced liquid and solid fecal incontinence and lifestyle alteration postoperatively. The Wexner score after treatment of intersphincter fistulae were 0.17 ± 0.41 in SDPC vs 0.40 ± 0.89 in FSLT and trans-sphincter fistulae were 0.13 ± 0.45 in SDPC vs 0.56 ± 1.35 in FSLT. The maximal squeeze pressure and resting pressure declined after treatment in both groups. The maximal anal squeeze pressures after treatment were reduced (23.17 ± 3.73 Kpa in SDPC vs 22.74 ± 4.47 Kpa in FSLT) and so did the resting pressures (12.36 ± 2.15 Kpa in SDPC vs 11.71 ± 1.87 Kpa in FSLT), but there were neither significant differences between the two groups and nor significant differences before or after treatment.
CONCLUSION: Traditional Chinese surgical treatment SDPC for anal fistulae with secondary tracks and abscess is safe, effective and less invasive.
Traditional Chinese surgical treatment; Suture dragging; Pad compression; Anal fistulae; Secondary tracks and abscess
New sphincter-saving approaches have been applied in the treatment of perianal fistula in order to avoid the risk of fecal incontinence. Among them, the fibrin glue technique is popular because of its simplicity and repeatability. The aim of this review is to compare the fibrin glue application to surgery alone, considering the healing and complication rates.
We performed a systematic review searching for published randomized and controlled clinical trials without any language restriction by using electronic databases. All these studies were assessed as to whether they compared conventional surgical treatment versus fibrin glue treatment in patients with anal fistulas, in order to establish both the efficacy and safety of each treatment. We used Review Manager 5 to conduct the review.
The healing rate is higher in those patients who underwent the conventional surgical treatment (P = 0,68), although the treatment with fibrin glue gives no evidence of anal incontinence (P = 0,08). Furthermore two subgroup analyses were performed: fibrin glue in combination with intra-adhesive antibiotics versus fibrin glue alone and anal fistula plug versus fibrin glue. In the first subgroup there were not differences in healing (P = 0,65). Whereas in the second subgroup analysis the healing rate is statistically significant for the patients who underwent the anal fistula plug treatment instead of the fibrin glue treatment (P = 0,02).
In literature there are only two randomized controlled trials comparing the conventional surgical management versus the fibrin glue treatment in patients with anal fistulas. Although from our statistical analysis we cannot find any statistically significant result, the healing rate remains higher in patients who underwent the conventional surgical treatment (P = 0,68), and the anal incontinence rate is very low in the fibrin glue treatment group (P = 0,08). Anyway the limited collected data do not support the use of fibrin glue. Moreover, in our subgroup analysis the use of fibrin glue in combination with intra-adhesive antibiotics does not improve the healing rate (P = 0.65), whereas the anal fistula plug treatment compared to the fibrin glue treatment shows good results (P = 0,02), although the poor number of patients treated does not lead to any statistically evident conclusion. This systematic review underlines the need of new RCTs upon this issue.
Surgical glues have been used in pediatric surgery because of the fragility of tissue, and to prevent major surgeries. The present report describes our experience with using a new cyanoacrylate Glubran 2 (Viareggio, Italy) in the treatment of five cases of tracheoesophageal atresia with fistula (one fistula protection, three recurrent fistula, and one unstable patients), two cases of hypospadias, one case of vesicutanouse fistula after bladder extrophy, and one case of cloacal extrophy from January–December 2008. Three cases of recurrent tracheoesophageal atresia with fistula were treated by bronchoscpic glue injection. The other two cases benefited from glue through its ability to plug the fistula and to act as a protecting layer on anastomosis. In two cases with hypospadias excessive use of the glue caused skin necrosis, which was repaired. The wounds of cloacal extrophy were protected from nearby colostomy contamination and infection, and the vesicocutanouse fistula was closed by deepithelialization and sealing with glue. Based on the outcomes of the cases, it may be possible to suggest that Glubran 2 may be used safely in Pediatric Surgery as a sealant for the prevention and treatment of fistulas.
Glubran 2; surgical glues; tracheoesophageal atresia with fistula; hypospadias; fistula
AIM: To compare the efficacy and safety of acellular dermal matrix (ADM) bioprosthetic material and endorectal advancement flap (ERAF) in treatment of complex anorectal fistula.
METHODS: Ninety consecutive patients with complex anorectal fistulae admitted to Anorectal Surgical Department of First Affiliated Hospital, Xinjiang Medical University from March 2008 to July 2009, were enrolled in this study. Complex anorectal fistula was diagnosed following its clinical, radiographic, or endoscopic diagnostic criteria. Under spinal anesthesia, patients underwent identification and irrigation of the fistula tracts using hydrogen peroxide. ADM was securely sutured at the secondary opening to the primary opening using absorbable suture. Outcomes of ADM and ERAF closure were compared in terms of success rate, fecal incontinence rate, anorectal deformity rate, postoperative pain time, closure time and life quality score. Success was defined as closure of all external openings, absence of drainage without further intervention, and absence of abscess formation. Follow-up examination was performed 2 d, 2, 4, 6, 12 wk, and 5 mo after surgery, respectively.
RESULTS: No patient was lost to follow-up. The overall success rate was 82.22% (37/45) 5.7 mo after surgery. ADM dislodgement occured in 5 patients (11.11%), abscess formation was found in 1 patient, and fistula recurred in 2 patients. Of the 13 patients with recurrent fistula using ERAF, 5 (11.11%) received surgical drainage because of abscess formation. The success rate, postoperative pain time and closure time of ADM were significantly higher than those of ERAF (P < 0.05). However, no difference was observed in fecal incontinence rate and anorectal deformity rate after treatment with ADM and ERAF.
CONCLUSION: Closure of fistula tract opening with ADM is an effective procedure for complex anorectal fistula. ADM should be considered a first line treatment for patients with complex anorectal fistula.
Acellular dermal matrix; Surgery; Transsphincteric complex fistula
It was the aim of this study to compare the outcome of surgery for complex anal fistulas in obese and non-obese patients.
All patients with complex anorectal fistulas who underwent fistulectomy and/or rectal advancement flap repair were prospectively recorded. Surgery was performed in a standardized technique. Body mass index (BMI [kg/m2]) was used as objective measure to indicate morbid obesity. Patients with a BMI greater than 30 were defined as obese, and patients with a BMI below 30 were defined as non-obese. The parameters analyzed related to BMI included success or failure, and reoperation rate due to recurrent abscess. Success was defined as closure of both internal and external openings, absence of drainage without further intervention, and absence of abscess formation.
Within two years, 220 patients underwent advancement flap repair and met the inclusion criteria. 55% of patients were females, mean age was 39 (range 18-76) years, and the majority of fistulas were located at the posterior site. 69% of patients (152/220) were non-obese (BMI < 30), whereas 31% (68/220) were obese (BMI > 30). After a median follow-up of 6 months, primary healing rate ("success") for the whole collective was 82% (180/220). Success was significantly different between non-obese and obese patients: In non-obese patients, recurrence rate was significantly lower than in obese patients (14% vs. 28%; p < 0.01). Moreover, reoperation rate due to recurrent abscess with the need for seton drainage in the failure groups was significantly higher in obese patients when compared to non-obese patients (73% vs. 52%; p < 0.01). Using multivariate analysis, obesity was identified as independent predictive factor of success or failure (p < 0.02).
Obese patients are at higher risk for failure after surgery for complex anal fistula.
Anal fistula; obesity; success; recurrence