Ten-year experience with transvaginal vesicovaginal fistula repair using tissue interposition

Karyn Schlunt Eilber, Elizabeth Kavaler, Larissa V Rodríguez, Nirit Rosenblum, Shlomo Raz
Journal of Urology 2003, 169 (3): 1033-6

PURPOSE: The success rate of vesicovaginal fistula repair is improved by tissue interposition. The Martius flap produces reliable results but it has increased morbidity. A peritoneal flap is easily created with minimal morbidity and it can be used for proximal fistulas. We describe our 10-year experience with tissue interposition for transvaginal repair of vesicovaginal fistulas.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: From January 1991 to July 2001, 207 cases of vesicovaginal fistulas were repaired transvaginally. Tissue interposition was used for complex (greater than 2 cm. and/or radiation induced) fistulas and/or failed previous repairs. A peritoneal flap was used for proximal fistulas and a Martius flap was used for distal fistulas. A full-thickness labial flap was reserved for cases of insufficient vaginal epithelium.

RESULTS: A total of 207 patients underwent transvaginal repair of a vesicovaginal fistula. Etiology of the fistula was hysterectomy in 91% of cases (abdominal in 83% and vaginal in 8%), radiation in 4% and 5% other (obstetric trauma, anterior colporrhaphy or an indwelling catheter) in 5%. In 159 patients (77%) at least 1 previous repair had failed. Repair in 120 patients (58%) was done with tissue interposition, including a peritoneal, Martius and full-thickness labial flap in 83, 34 and 3, respectively. The cure rate after initial repair with a peritoneal, Martius and labial flap was 96%, 97% and 33%, respectively. There were no intraoperative complications.

CONCLUSIONS: A peritoneal flap for transvaginal repair of vesicovaginal fistulas has minimal morbidity, results in a success rate comparable to that of the Martius flap and is especially useful for proximal fistulas when previous repair has failed.


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