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eISSN: 1643-3750

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Long-Term Outcomes of Ligation of the Inter-Sphincteric Fistula Tract Plus Bioprosthetic Anal Fistula Plug (LIFT-Plug) in the Treatment of Trans-Sphincteric Perianal Fistula

Baocheng Zhao, Zhenjun Wang, Jiagang Han, Yi Zheng, Jinjie Cui, Sanshui Yu

(Department of General Surgery, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:1350-1354

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.914925


BACKGROUND: The ligation of the inter-sphincteric fistula tract plus bioprosthetic anal fistula plug (LIFT-plug) is a new procedure in the treatment of trans-sphincteric perianal fistulas. The aim of this study was to evaluate its long-term outcomes.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Clinical data of 78 patients with trans-sphincteric perianal fistula who were managed by the LIFT-plug technique between March 2014 to October 2016 were analyzed retrospectively. The operation time, healing rate, postoperative complications, recurrences, and length of stay were reviewed.
RESULTS: No serious complications occurred during the operation in all patients. The median follow-up was 30 months (16 to 47 months), clinical healing of the anal fistula occurred in 75 patients (96.2%). The median operative time was 25 minutes (18 to 45 minutes). The mean complete healing time was 16 days (9 to 46 days). The median healing time for the external anal fistula opening was 2 weeks (range, 2 to 3 weeks), and the inter-sphincteric groove incision healing time was 4 weeks (range, 3 to 7 weeks). The median hospital stay after operation was 5 days. Fistula recurred in 2 patients because of spontaneous expulsion of the plug at 7 days post-surgery; perianal abscess occurred in 1 patient. The anal function was evaluated in 70 patients of the 78 patients. Perfect control of continence was recorded for 97.1% of the patients (68 out of 70 patients). Two patients were identified to a rare complication of gas incontinence (Wexner score 1).
CONCLUSIONS: LIFT-plug procedure for the treatment of trans-sphincteric fistulas is a simple procedure with a high healing rate, minimal invasiveness, quick healing, and without disturbance to anal function. LIFT-plug is an ideal procedure for trans-sphincteric fistula.

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