International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 197–200 | Cite as

Mucosal advancement flap for recurrent complex anal fistula: a repeatable procedure

  • Michele PodettaEmail author
  • Cosimo Riccardo Scarpa
  • Guillaume Zufferey
  • Karel Skala
  • Frederic Ris
  • Bruno Roche
  • Nicolas Christian Buchs
Short Communication



Mucosal advancement flap (MAF) is the best option for complex anal fistula (AF) treatment. Recurrence is not rare and the best surgical option for his handling is a challenge considering the incontinence risk and the healing rate. We aimed to determine the feasibility and outcomes of a second MAF for recurrent complex AF previously treated with mucosal advancement flap.


We retrospectively identified 32 patients undergoing two or more MAF for recurrent AF in a larger cohort of 121 consecutive cases of MAF operated by the same senior colorectal surgeon. Only complex AF of cryptoglandular origin was enrolled. A long-term follow-up was performed collecting clinical and functional data.


Among 121 patients (group A) treated with mucosal advancement flap, 32 (26.4%) (group B) recurred with a complex AF requiring a second mucosal advancement flap procedure. Success rate of group B is 78.1%. Six patients of group B recurred a second time, another MAF was performed with healing in all cases. Complication rate (Clavien Dindo 3b) of group B is 9.4% compared to 8.3% of group A. A slight continence deficit (Miller score 1, 2, and 4) was detected after the first MAF in 3 patients. The Miller score for these patients did not change after the subsequent MAF.


MAF is effective for treatment of complex recurrent AF. A pre-existing MAF procedure does not worsen the healing rate of the second flap. The rate of surgical complications is similar with those reported in the literature for MAFs.


Anal fistula Mucosal advancement flap Fistula repair Cryptoglandular fistula Surgery for anal fistula 


Compliance with ethical standards

For this type of study, formal consent is not required. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018
corrected publication 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Proctology Unit, Service of Visceral SurgeryGeneva University Hospitals and Medical SchoolGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Département de Chirurgie, Division de Chirurgie BariatriqueHôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, Université de MontréalQuebecCanada

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