INTERESFINCTERIAL LIGATION OF FISTULA TRACT (LIFT) FOR PATIENTS WITH ANAL FISTULAS: A BRAZILIAN BI-INSTITUTIONAL EXPERIENCE
ABSTRACT Background : The best treatment for anal fistula should extirpate infection and promote healing of the tract, whilst preserving the anal sphincter complex and full continence. Aim: To analyze the success rate after a modified technique for ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract (LIFT) for patients with anal fistulas. Methods: A prospective (observational cohort study) Brazilian bi-institutional experience with a modified (ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract without excision) LIFT technique was undertaken. A clinical database was settled for the following variables: age, gender, BMI, comorbidities, distance between external orifice and the anus, previous fistula surgery, type of fistula, operative time, intra- and postoperative complications, duration of follow-up, and success rate. Results: Between November 2015 and January 2017, 38 patients with transsphincteric fistulas were operated on using the modified LIFT procedure. Seventeen (44.7%) were men. Median age was 41 (18-67) years. Median BMI was 26.4 (22-38) kg/m2. Five (13.2%) had undergone previous surgery. The fistula was transsphincteric in all cases. Median follow-up was 32 (range, 14-56) weeks. Success was observed in 30 (79%) patients. Conclusions: The LIFT technique without excision of the fistula tract proved to be safe and effective for transsphincteric anal fistulas.