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Sao Paulo Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 1516-3180On-line version ISSN 1806-9460


GUPTA, Pravin Jaiprakash. Radiofrequency fistulotomy: a better alternative for treating low anal fistula. Sao Paulo Med. J. [online]. 2004, vol.122, n.4, pp.172-174. ISSN 1516-3180.

CONTEXT: Wide varieties of approaches are employed in dealing with low anal fistula. However, the simple method of laying open the fistula tract (fistulotomy) is still considered to be the favored one. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A modified approach to the procedure of fistulotomy is discussed. This study describes the procedure, which used a technique of radiofrequency surgery, and its outcome in 232 patients with low anal fistula. The patients were followed for a period of 15 months. RESULTS: The patients were discharged on the same day as the procedure. The mean period off work was four days. The average healing time recorded was 67 days. Four wound complications in the form of premature closure of the external wound were noted, which required trimming of the edges. Two of these wounds remained unhealed. The recurrence rate was 1.7%. CONCLUSION: In this era when the emphasis is on criteria like the minimization of hospital stay, reduction of postoperative pain, early resumption of work and low and comparable recurrence rates, there is a future for the procedure of radiofrequency fistulotomy.

Keywords : Rectal fistula; Recurrence; Anus; Radio waves; Colorectal surgery.

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