Intraoperative Physical Diagnosis in the Management of Anal Fistula

Gonzalez-Ruiz, Claudia; Kaiser, Andreas M.; Vukasin, Petar; Beart Jr., Robert W.; Ortega, Adrian E.
January 2006
American Surgeon;Jan2006, Vol. 72 Issue 1, p11
Academic Journal
This report reviews a prospective database applying a systematic fistulomy technique in 101 patients requiring surgery for fistula in ano at LAC-HUSC Medical Center during a 15-month period. Data were collected for the reliability of primary crypt palpation, success of tract injection with peroxide/methylene blue, and the accuracy of Goodsall's rule. Time to healing, recurrence, and incontinence according to type of procedure were also recorded. Palpation of the primary crypt was possible in 93 per cent. Hydrogen peroxide/methylene blue injection successfully delineated the tract in 83 per cent. Goodsall's rule was correct in 81 per cent. Each fistula was categorized as intersphincteric (n = 72), transphincteric (n = 33), extrasphincteric (n = 1), or submucosal (n = 6). At a mean follow-up period of 44 weeks, 89.2 per cent of patients were cured. Reasons for recurrence included wound bridging (n = 6), misdiagnosis of the tract (n = 3), and two blind-ended fistulae (n = 2). Time to healing in weeks was (mean, range): simple fistulotomy (12, 3-21), seton (16, 4-28), Hanley procedure (28, 8-48). Patients with a marsupialized tract healed at an average of 6 weeks (range 4-8). Four (3.9%) patients reported postoperative incontinence (1 gas, 3 liquid, 0 solids).


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