Novel Approach in Rectovaginal Fistula Treatment: Combination of Modified Martius Flap and Autologous Micro-Fragmented Adipose Tissue

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In this paper, we introduce an innovative therapeutic approach for managing rectovaginal fistulas (RVF), by combining the modified Martius flap and micro-fragmented adipose tissue (MFAT) enriched with mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). This novel approach aims to deal with the difficulties associated with RVF, a medically complex condition with a lack of effective treatment options. We present the case of a 45-year-old female patient with a 15-year history of Crohn’s disease (CD). During the preceding eight years, she had encountered substantial difficulties resulting from a rectovaginal fistula (RVF) that was active and considerable in size (measuring 3.5 cm in length and 1 cm in width). Her condition was accompanied by tissue alterations at both the vaginal and rectal openings. Following her admission to our hospital, the patient’s case was discussed during both surgical and multidisciplinary hospital team (IRB) meetings. The team decided to combine a modified Martius flap with autologous MFAT containing MSCs. The results were remarkable, leading to comprehensive anatomical and clinical resolution of the RVF. Equally significant was the improvement in the patient’s overall quality of life and sexual satisfaction during the one-year follow-up period. The integration of the modified Martius flap with MFAT emerges as a highly promising approach for addressing CD-related RVFs that had historically been, and still are, difficult to treat, given their often refractory nature and low healing success rates.


Ana Dimova, Ivana Erceg Ivkošić, Petar Brlek, Stefan Dimov, Tomislav Pavlović, Tomislav Bokun, Dragan Primorac.


MDPI Journal (Biomedicines)