Ann Coloproctol.  2013 Apr;29(2):55-59. 10.3393/ac.2013.29.2.55.

Managing Deep Postanal Space Sepsis via an Intersphincteric Approach: Our Early Experience

  • 1Division of Colorectal Surgery, University Surgical Cluster, National University Health System, Singapore.


Managing deep postanal (DPA) sepsis often involves multiple procedures over a long time. An intersphincteric approach allows adequate drainage to be performed while tackling the primary pathology at the same sitting. The aim of our study was to evaluate this novel technique in managing DPA sepsis.
A retrospective review of all patients who underwent this intersphincteric technique in managing DPA sepsis from February 2008 to October 2010 was performed. All surgeries were performed by the same surgeon.
Seventeen patients with a median age of 43 years (range, 32 to 71 years) and comprised of 94.1% (n = 16) males formed the study group. In all patients, an internal opening in the posterior midline with a tract leading to the deep postanal space was identified. This intersphincteric approach operation was adopted as the primary procedure in 12 patients (70.6%) and was successful in 11 (91.7%). In the only failure, the sepsis recurred, and a successful advancement flap procedure was eventually performed. Five other patients (29.4%) underwent this same procedure as a secondary procedure after an initial drainage operation. Only one was successful. In the remaining four patients, one had a recurrent abscess that required drainage while the other three patients had a tract between the internal opening and the intersphincteric incision. They subsequently underwent a drainage procedure with seton insertion and advancement flap procedures.
Managing DPA space sepsis via an intersphincteric approach is successful in 70.6% of patients. This single-staged technique allows for effective drainage of the sepsis and removal of the primary pathology in the intersphincteric space.


Abscess; Treatment outcome; Anal gland; Fistula
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