Required length of follow-up after transanal advancement flap repair of high transsphincteric fistulas

LE Mitalas, Martijn Gosselink, Daniella Oom, DDE Zimmerman, Willem Rudolf Schouten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

19 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Repair of high perianal fistulas presents a major surgical challenge. Transanal advancement flap repair (TAFR) provides a useful tool in the treatment of these fistulas. Initially promising results have been reported. More recent studies indicate that TAFR fails in one out of three patients. The aim of the present study was to determine the appropriate length of follow-up needed to assess the healing rate after TAFR of high transsphincteric fistulas. Method Between 1992 and 2000 a consecutive series of 80 patients with a high transsphincteric fistula of cryptoglandular origin underwent TAFR. Medical records of all patients were studied. The initial healing rate and the median healing time were assessed. The initial outcome was successful in 54 patients. The medical records revealed that only one of these patients presented with a recurrent fistula after 28 months. The other 53 patients were sent a questionnaire in 2006 aimed to determine whether they had any complaints or signs of a recurrent fistula. Results The initial healing rate was 68%. The median healing time was 3.6 months. The completed questionnaire was returned by 48 patients. None of these patients reported any complaints or signs of a recurrent fistula. Median duration of follow-up in these patients was 92 months. Conclusion At a median time interval of 3.6 months fistula healing was observed in 54 patients (68%). Only one patient (2%) encountered a recurrence. The length of follow-up can be restricted to the healing time.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)726-728
Number of pages3
JournalColorectal Disease
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Research programs

  • EMC MM-03-47-02-A

Cite this