Guidelines for the management of postoperative obstructive symptoms in children with Hirschsprung disease
BACKGROUND Anal stricture is a well-known and feared consequence of anorectal surgery. Daily dilatations are often prescribed in the immediate postoperative period to avoid stricture of the anus. Nonetheless, stricture may still occur and, particularly in older children, may require multiple dilatations under anesthesia. Topical mitomycin-C has been found to be effective in the treatment of strictures at various anatomical locations. In this article, we review our experience with topical mitomycin-C as an adjunct to anal dilatation for children with anal stricture. MATERIALS AND METHODS Cases of children with anal stricture who were treated with a single application of topical mitomycin-C as an adjunct to anal dilatation between 2000 and 2008 were analyzed retrospectively. Anal diameter was measured with Hegar dilators. Cottonoid swabs soaked in mitomycin-C were placed on the anal mucosa for 5 minutes after dilatation. Treatment success was defined by sustained improvement in anal size, decrease in symptoms, parental satisfaction, and need for additional intervention. RESULTS Ten children with anal stricture who underwent anal dilatation with application of topical mitomycin-C were identified. All children presented with severe constipation. Average increase in anal size after dilatation under sedation was 5.7 mm (+/-3.2 mm). Average improvement in anal diameter on first clinic visit after mitomycin-C application was 3.7 mm. On follow-up, only 1 child required repeated intervention for stricture after treatment with mitomycin-C. No complications were associated with the use of mitomycin-C. CONCLUSIONS All children treated with mitomycin-C showed early improvement in their anal size after dilatation under sedation. A single application of topical mitomycin-C allowed them to retain an increased anal diameter over time and avoid additional dilatations. Furthermore, the application of mitomycin-C in our population was straightforward and safe. Therefore, we advocate its use as an adjunct to anal dilatation under sedation in the treatment of severe anal stricture.