Clinical relevance and treatment outcomes of vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) after obstetric and gynecologic surgery

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Objective: Vesicovaginal fistulas (VVF) are consequences from obstetric and gynecologic surgery. Treatment approach from either abdominal or vaginal route have its own pros and cons. The study aims to present the anatomical, clinical and lower urinary tract symptom outcomes of women with VVF. Materials and methods: A retrospective case series conducted patients with VVF. Data regarding pre-operative evaluation, surgical treatment, and post-operative follow-ups were collected. Surgical approach depended on the cause, type, number, size, location, and time of onset of the fistula. Post-operatively, foley catheter was maintained for at least 1 week with cystoscopy performed prior to removal. Follow-up evaluation included cystoscopy, bladder diary, UDI-6 and IIQ-7 questionnaires and multi-channel urodynamic study. Results: Of the 15 patients that were evaluated, 1 had spontaneous closure, 8 were repaired vaginally and 6 abdominally. Patients repaired vaginally were significantly noted to have a mean age of 50.3 ± 7.1 years with VVFs located adjacent the supra-trigone area having a mean distance of 1.7 ± 0.5 cm from the ureteric orifice. Its operative time and hospital stay were significantly shorter. In contrast, abdominally repaired patients had mean age of 38.0 ± 8.2 years and VVFs with mean distance of 0.4 ± 0.4 cm from the ureteric orifice. Post-operatively, 2 cases (14.2%, 2/14) of VVF recurrence and de novo urodynamic stress incontinence (USI) (25%, 2/8) were noted after vaginal repair and 3 cases (50%, 3/6) of concurrent ureteric injury and overactive bladder after abdominal repair. Conclusion: Treatment outcomes for vaginal and abdominal repair yielded good results. Though the vaginal route had higher incidence of recurrence and de novo USI, its less invasiveness, faster recovery period, and no association with post-op overactive bladder made it more preferable than the abdominal approach.




Lo, T. S., Chua, S., Wijaya, T., Kao, C. C., & Uy-Patrimonio, M. C. (2019). Clinical relevance and treatment outcomes of vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) after obstetric and gynecologic surgery. Taiwanese Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 58(1), 111–116.

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