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Tech Coloproctol. 2013 Feb;17(1):89-94. doi: 10.1007/s10151-012-0890-x. Epub 2012 Sep 6.

Sexual function and quality of life after surgical treatment for anal fistulas in Crohn's disease.

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Department of General Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090, Vienna, Austria.



The aim of this study was to assess sexual function and quality of life (QoL) in patients after surgery for perianal Crohn's disease.


Eighty-eight consecutive patients with perianal Crohn's disease, operated on at the Medical University of Vienna, completed a self-administered questionnaire including the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF), Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), Short Form-12 Health Survey (SF-12), and the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (IBDQ). Patients with a current stoma were excluded from further analysis. The median follow-up time was 104 months (range 3-186 months). Healthy subjects served as controls for each case and were matched by age (±6 years) and gender. Forty-seven (68 %) female and 22 male patients with a median age of 46.5 years (range 18-64 years) were analyzed. Eleven (16 %) patients had simple and 58 (84 %) complex anal fistulas.


The median SF-12 physical health score of the patients was significantly lower (47.9 (range 25.5-57.2)) than that of the controls (54.3 (range 34.6-61.8); p = 0.03). Not surprisingly, the median total sore of the IBDQ of the controls was significantly better than that of the patients (controls: 188.5 (range 125-206.5), patients: 157 (range 60-199.5); p < 0.0001). Analysis with the multiple logistic regression test showed that type of operation, >1 perianal fistula opening, and active Crohn's disease were independent risk factors for a worse IBDQ (p = 0.03, p = 0.015 and p < 0.0001). Interestingly, the median FSFI and IIEF score were not found to be significant different in any domain.


QoL but not sexual function is significantly influenced by surgery for perianal Crohn's disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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