David ZimmermannOn Tuesday 27 September, the ESCP hosted the Perianal Fistula Workshop, which has been developed to inform attendees about the possibilities and limitations of new and established techniques for fistula surgery, as well as to acquire operative techniques. We talked to course co-organiser, Dr David Zimmerman (The Netherlands) about the workshop…

“The treatment of perianal fistulas is more complex than it would seem, as there are a myriad of treatment options available yet results, especially for more complex fistulas, remain average at best,” he explained. “Our workshop is aimed at showing attendees several techniques and will attempt to explain the benefits, but also the disadvantages of each technique.”

He said the Workshop is ideal for young consultants who wish to enhance their knowledge of new, as well as classic treatment modalities for fistulas, and to enhance their comprehension of surgical strategy and decision making. They should have a good understanding of anorectal anatomy and function, as well as basic pathophysiology of cryptoglandular perianal fistulas.

The Workshop will consist of a morning of expert video presentations including, fistulotomy, transanal advancement flap repair, ligation of intersphincteric fistula tract (LIFT), fistula plug, VAAFT, laser treatment of perianal fistula (FILAC) and permacol paste. “We are very proud to have found a group of international experts in the field willing to create these videos.”

“It is increasingly difficult for trainees and young surgeons to choose the appropriate treatment for patients with fistulas. On one hand, patients demand high healing rates, yet are understandably unwilling to compromise on functional outcome,” he explained. “As well as looking at the different techniques, we will also examine the costs of different techniques. In the afternoon, we will hold a Hands On Training Workshop using the world-famous ‘Isbert model’, adapted especially for surgery of perianal fistulas. Professor Isbert (University of Hamburg), adapted his model, especially for surgery of perianal fistulas.”

The Hands On Training Workshop will provide trainees with valuable skills on probing and seton placement, fistula plug placement, paste injection, fistuloscopy, laser welding and advanced flap techniques.

“This day promises to be an excellent learning opportunity for trainees and young surgeons, to help them choose the appropriate therapy and individualise fistula treatment,” added Zimmerman.

Please note that the number of places on this course is limited.

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