The cutback revisited - The posterior rectal advancement anoplasty for certain anorectal malformations with rectoperineal fistula

J Pediatr Surg. 2022 Sep;57(9):85-88. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2021.12.014. Epub 2021 Dec 17.


Background: The repair of rectoperineal fistulae can pose a significant challenge to the pediatric surgeon given the proximity of the fistula to the urethra in males and vagina in females. In these children, a simple cutback procedure may leave the neoanus in a position anterior to the center of the sphincter, which theoretically could impair future continence. We devised an adaptation of the cutback anoplasty which we call the posterior rectal advancement anoplasty (PRAA) to treat patients with a rectoperineal fistula that is both narrow in lumen and located within, but at the anterior-most limit of the sphincter complex.

Material and methods: Patient selection, operative steps, and perioperative care of patients undergoing PRAA are detailed.

Results: 10 children (6 males, 4 females) underwent PRAA. There were no vaginal wall or urethral injuries. At 6 months postoperatively, all patients were passing stool spontaneously. No patients required dilation of the anoplasty in the postoperative period and there were no anal strictures identified.

Conclusions: A modification of the cutback anoplasty can be performed in patients with a perineal fistula and the distal fistula tract within the sphincter complex. We have demonstrated that this can be performed safely and obviates the need for an anterior rectal wall dissection, thus eliminating the risk of injury to urethra or vagina.

Level of evidence: IV.

Keywords: Anorectal malformation; Cutback anoplasty: Posterior rectal advancement anoplasty; PRAA; Rectoperineal fistula.

MeSH terms

  • Anal Canal / abnormalities
  • Anal Canal / surgery
  • Anorectal Malformations* / surgery
  • Child
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rectal Fistula* / surgery
  • Rectum / abnormalities
  • Rectum / surgery
  • Urethral Diseases* / surgery