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Pediatr Surg Int. 2007 Nov;23(11):1077-80. Epub 2007 Aug 18.

Laparoscopic assisted endorectal pull-through with posterior sagittal approach to the repair of postoperative rectourethral and rectovaginal fistula.

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Department of Pediatric Surgery, Union Hospital of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China.


Rectourethral or rectovaginal fistula is a troublesome complication after anorectal surgery. The pelvic and perineal dissection may be difficult because of severe fibrosis adhesion around the fistula. The authors applied a novel technique: a combined laparoscopic assisted abdominal and posterior sagittal approach (PSA) to perform the redo surgery. Three boys and two girls (3-13 years old): case 1 had rectovaginal fistula after rectal dialation and modified Swenson's procedure; case 2 had rectovestibular fistula after twice perineal anorectoplasty; case 3 had rectourethral fistula after twice anorectoplasty; case 4 was imperforate anus with Hirschsprung's disease and rectourethral fistula that had been misdiagnosed; case 5 had rectourethral fistula after abdominoperineoanoplasty and Mollard procedure and posterior sagittal anorectoplasty. Laparoscopic assisted abdominal dissection was done first to mobilize the colon as far as the mid pelvis, and the normal colon was marked with a suture. The lower pelvic dissection was performed through the posterior sagittal route, the proximal rectum was mobilized and servered, the distal rectum was left undisected, endorectal mucosectomy with electric ablation was performed, then the fistula was closed from inside the rectum, and the stump of the colon was pulled through the rectum, the stump and the dentate line were anastomosed extraanally. Colostomy was done in case 2 and case 5. The postoperative follow-up showed no recurrent fistula, and all patients had attained normal voluntary bowel actions, but one child had infrequent minor soiling. Laparoscopic assisted endorectal pull-through of the intact colon can offer precise dissection, minimal abdominal injure, and spare troublesome mobilization of the fistula, and can prevent the recurrent of fistula. Posterior sagittal approach provides a direct repair of the fistula and anastomosis.

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