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Advanced adenocarcinoma in a laterally spreading adenoma within a colonic diverticulum, followed-up for 4 yearsAdverse effects of bevacizumab in metastatic colorectal cancer : a case report and literature review

Advancement flap plasty for the closure of anal and recto-vaginal fistulas in Crohn's disease

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(Acta gastroenterol. belg., 2001, 64, 223-226)

April-June Volume 64, fasc. 2

Advancement flap plasty for the closure of anal and recto-vaginal fistulas in Crohn's disease

F. Penninckx, A. D'Hoore, L. Filez. Department of Abdominal Surgery, University Hospital Leuven, Belgium.

The management of anal fistulas in patients with IBD continues to be extremely challenging and, indeed, somewhat frustrating. Despite a global closure rate of about 75%, all patients should be informed about the risk of infection, early failure, eventual temporary defunctioning stoma and the possibility of late recurrence (about 15%). Closure of a RVF in Crohn's disease should not be considered an easy undertaking, especially in patients with several Crohn localisations. The technique can be adapted to the local situation. Construction of a temporary stoma is not mandatory. However, stoma construction seems to be beneficial when extensive perianal or recto-vaginal dissection including eventual tissue interposition is required. Advancement flaps are an attractive surgical alternative for the management of all anal transsphincteric fistulas, also in Crohn's disease, because sphincter architecture and function are well preserved. Improved medical treatment and the changed approach from conservative to reparative surgery may well have resulted in a decreased need or at least in a delay of the need for a proctectomy. Although the surgical principles of advancement flap techniques are sound, these techniques have not been used for many decades. Skills needed, problematic approach, suboptimal quality of local tissues have contributed to its selective use and to the absence of prospective randomised studies.