The anal fistula is a tiny tunnel that occurs between the end of the bowel and the skin around the anus. They mostly occur due to an infection near anus causes collection of pus in the nearby tissues, which after draining away, leave a small channel behind. Anal fistulas may have some unpleasant symptoms, like skin irritation and discomfort and hardly go away on their own. Surgery is advised in most of the cases. There are various techniques used in the treatment of anal fistula. LIFT technique is one of them.
In LIFT procedure, the internal opening is properly closed and infected cryptoglandular tissue is removed by the intersphincteric approach. The LIFT procedure is mostly done for complex or deep fistulas. The procedure permits your surgeon to access the fistula between the sphincter muscles and avoid cutting them.
The LIFT procedure starts by making a cut in the hole of the fistula in the anal canal to find out where it is in the intersphincteric tract, the region between the sphincter muscles. Another opening is prepared through the exterior opening of the fistula on the buttocks, in which a tube is inserted by the external opening to discover the tract and to clean the area out. Infected tissue is removed. The openings are then sealed to stop further infection and re-occurrence of a fistula.
The procedure may also be done in two parts in which a seton is placed into the fistula tract, forcing it to broaden over time. After several weeks, your surgeon removes infected tissue and internal fistula opening is closed. Finally, the mid-portion of the fistula is surgically isolated and stitched closed, permitting the inner and outer openings to subside and heal.
How to prepare for the LIFT Procedure
Your doctor may give you some pre-operative instructions to follow in order to get optimal results like
Take enema to clean out the rectum properly.
Don’t eat anything for at least six hours before surgery