Author(s): Ooi K, Skinner I, Croxford M, Faragher I, McLaughlin S
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Abstract AIM: To review the preliminary results of the ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract (LIFT) technique in treating complex anal fistulas at our hospital. METHOD: Between March and November 2010, patients with cryptoglandular anal fistulas were recruited prospectively from the colorectal clinic and treated using the LIFT procedure. A database was set up to collect information on demographics, past surgical treatments, fistula characteristics, MRI scan results, operative data and follow-up findings. The primary end-point measured was cure of the disease. The secondary end-point was the degree of postoperative continence. Preoperative and postoperative incontinence rates were recorded using Wexner's Incontinence Scale. RESULTS: Twenty-five patients (eight women and 17 men; median age, 40 years) underwent the LIFT procedure. Ten patients had recurrent fistulas and previous fistula surgery. The median operating time was 39 min. No intraoperative complications were documented. The median follow-up duration was 22 (3-43) weeks. Primary healing was observed in 17 (68.0\%) patients and the median healing time was 6 weeks; one wound remained incompletely healed. Seven patients (28.0\%) had disease recurrence presenting between 7 and 20 weeks postoperatively. No patients reported any incontinence postoperatively. CONCLUSION: The LIFT procedure has favourable healing rates with little or no risk of incontinence. This operation is safe and easy to learn. The early results from this pilot study show promise and affirm some of the findings of other researchers. These results will suggest opportunities to conduct further controlled studies comparing the LIFT procedure with standard therapies. © 2011 The Authors. Colorectal Disease © 2011 The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland.
This article was published in Colorectal Dis
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System