LIFT procedure

LIFT procedure or  "Ligation of Intersphincteric Fistula Tract"  is an operation used to treat fistulae that are not amenable to laying open. Usually these fistulas involve more muscle, and hence the fistula cannot be layed open or cut safely.

The procedure aims to tie off and close the  fistula tract or "tunnel"  as it travels between the internal and external sphincter muscle.

The operation is done once the fistula tract is well delineated and there is no other infection. Usually there will be at least one previous operation performed to control the infection or abscess, and inserted a seton to drain it well.

The operation is usually carried out as day surgery. You may be prescribed antibiotics for a week, and simple analgesia.

Sometimes the operation deals with half of the fistula, and the remaining tract can be safely layed open only cutting a small amount of internal sphincter muscle, rather than both the internal and external muscle. There is less chance of faecal incontinence in these cases.

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