Outcomes with the use of bioprosthetic grafts to reinforce the ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract (BioLIFT procedure) for the management of complex anal fistulas

Dis Colon Rectum. 2010 Oct;53(10):1361-4. doi: 10.1007/DCR.0b013e3181ec4470.


Purpose: This study was undertaken to determine the outcomes of patients whose complex anal fistulas were managed by ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract reinforced with a bioprosthetic graft (BioLIFT procedure).

Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed of all patients whose anal fistula was managed by use of the BioLIFT technique between May 2005 and May 2008, who had a minimum of 1 year of follow-up after their last treatment.

Results: The BioLIFT technique using a bioprosthetic graft was used to treat a complex anal fistula in 31 patients (22 men, 9 women; mean age, 48 y (range, 30-68 y). Clinical healing of the fistula, defined as the absence of drainage with no evidence of residual fistula tract, occurred in 29 (94%) patients. No complications occurred that required intervention.

Conclusions: The BioLIFT procedure is effective for the management of complex fistulas-in-ano. Randomized clinical trials comparing this technique with other sphincter-preserving methods for fistula management need to be performed to further determine the role of this technique in the management of anal fistulas.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anal Canal / surgery*
  • Bioprosthesis*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ligation / instrumentation
  • Ligation / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rectal Fistula / etiology
  • Rectal Fistula / pathology
  • Rectal Fistula / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Suture Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Treatment Outcome