Purpose: Females with recto-vestibular fistula (RVF) can be managed either by one-stage sagittal anorectoplasty (SARP) or by conventional multi-stage approach with colostomy followed by SARP. Our aim was to define which approach, one-stage or multi-stage, is safer and more beneficial.
Methods: Using a defined search strategy, two investigators identified all comparative studies on the mentioned procedures. The study was conducted under PRISMA guidelines. The meta-analysis was performed using RevMan 5.3. Data are mean ± SD.
Results: Of 649 titles/abstracts screened, 13 full-text articles were analyzed. Three studies were included (156 females). One-stage SARP was associated with increased risk of wound infection (24.3 ± 8.7%) compared to multi-stage approach (10.9 ± 2.5%; p < 0.01) and increased risk of wound dehiscence (16.2 ± 4.8% vs. 2.4 ± 1.1%, respectively; p < 0.01). The incidence of anorectal stenosis was higher following one-stage repair (33.3%) vs. multi-stage approach (10.7%; p < 0.05). No differences were found with regards to redo SARP in both groups (12.9 ± 7.3% vs. 4.8 ± 0.8%; p = ns). At follow-up, the prevalence of soiling and constipation were similar after one-stage (19.7 ± 10.3% and 29.5 ± 5.4%) and multi-stage repair (13.7 ± 8.9% and 28.7 ± 4.4%; p = ns).
Conclusions: In females with RVF, the SARP performed without protective colostomy increases the risk of postoperative complications. However, this one-stage approach seems not to be associated with reduced fecal continence.
Keywords: Anorectal malformations; Meta-analysis; One-stage sagittal anorectoplasty; Recto-vestibular fistula; Systematic review.