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J Gastrointest Surg. 1997 Sep-Oct;1(5):487-91.

Endorectal mucosal advancement flap: the preferred method for complex cryptoglandular fistula-in-ano.

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Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Grant Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA.


Cryptoglandular fistula-in-ano is a common affliction that usually responds well to conventional surgical procedures such as fistulectomy, fistulotomy, and seton placement. These procedures, however, can be associated with varying degrees of fecal incontinence. Endorectal mucosal advancement flap has been advocated as an alternative procedure that avoids this problem. This study was undertaken to determine the risks and benefits associated with endorectal mucosal advancement flap in the treatment of complex fistula-in-ano. One hundred sixty-four patients underwent 167 endorectal mucosal advancement flap procedures for complex cryptoglandular fistula-in-ano between January 1982 and December 1990. There were 126 men and 38 women whose mean age was 42.1 years (range 20 to 79 years). The majority of the patients (70%) had complex fistulas (transsphincteric, suprasphincteric, or extrasphincteric). Fifteen patients (9%) had an intersphincteric fistula. All patients were available for short-term follow-up (6 weeks). Postoperative morbidity was minimal and included urinary retention in 13 patients (7.8%) and bleeding in one patient. Healing time averaged 6 weeks. Long-term follow-up, ranging from 19 to 135 months, was carried out in 61 patients. There were two recurrences (3.28%). Nine patients (15%) complained of varying degrees of fecal incontinence. Six patients complained of incontinence to flatus and three patients complained of incontinence to liquid stool. No patient was incontinent of solid stool. Sixty patients (98%) rated their functional result as excellent or good. Endorectal mucosal advancement flap is a safe and effective technique for the treatment of complex cryptoglandular fistula-in-ano. It can be performed with minimal morbidity, no mortality, an acceptable recurrence rate, and little alteration in anorectal continence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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