Outcomes With the Use of Bioprosthetic Grafts to Reinforce the Ligation of the Intersphincteric Fistula Tract (BioLIFT Procedure) for the Management of Complex Anal Fistulas

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This study was undertaken to determine the outcomes of patients whose complex anal fistulas were managed by ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract reinforced with a bioprosthetic graft (BioLIFT procedure).


A retrospective analysis was performed of all patients whose anal fistula was managed by use of the BioLIFT technique between May 2005 and May 2008, who had a minimum of 1 year of follow-up after their last treatment.


The BioLIFT technique using a bioprosthetic graft was used to treat a complex anal fistula in 31 patients (22 men, 9 women; mean age, 48 y (range, 30–68 y)). Clinical healing of the fistula, defined as the absence of drainage with no evidence of residual fistula tract, occurred in 29 (94%) patients. No complications occurred that required intervention.


The BioLIFT procedure is effective for the management of complex fistulas-in-ano. Randomized clinical trials comparing this technique with other sphincter-preserving methods for fistula management need to be performed to further determine the role of this technique in the management of anal fistulas.

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