In assessing the results in this series, an attempt has been made to rationalize the methods of treatment and emphasize the importance of a sound anatomic basis for both classification and management. The technical methods are somewhat of a compromise. The classic methods of staged division of muscle, together with the use of the seton (for drainage only) are combined with exploration of the intersphincteric plane to eliminate the causative factor of the disease.
Because these “high” fistulas are uncommon, particularly the suprasphincteric and extrasphincteric varieties, there is little information in the literature with which to compare the figures. It is hoped that the experience gained in treating these cases will act as a guide for surgeons who see complicated fistulas infrequently, and also act as a baseline for further reappraisal of treatment methods. The ultimate aim must be to obtain healing of the fistula, at the same time minimizing disturbance of function.