30 years of experience with York-Mason repair of recto-urinary fistulas

Todd D Renschler, Richard G Middleton
Journal of Urology 2003, 170 (4 Pt 1): 1222-5; discussion 1225

PURPOSE: Recto-urinary fistula formation is a rare occurrence, usually following surgery or another intervention for prostatic disease. Spontaneous closure is rarely successful and reconstructive procedures are usually performed. We report our experience in the last 30 years with modified York-Mason repair. To our knowledge our series of 24 patients is the largest reported using this approach.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all patients who underwent acquired rectourethral or rectovesical fistula repair at our institution. A total of 24 patients underwent York-Mason recto-urinary fistula repair, 18 fistulas occurred secondary to prostatic surgery and 11 patients underwent 1-stage repair without preoperative urinary or fecal diversion.

RESULTS: Overall 22 of the 24 fistulas were repaired successfully using the York-Mason approach. One patient required a repeat York-Mason procedure and another required a perineal incision to correct recurrence. All except 1 fistula were eventually surgically corrected. No fecal incontinence or anal stenosis developed. The fistula involved the bladder and urethra in 11 and 13 cases, respectively. Procedure time was less than 2 hours. Blood loss was 50 to 400 cc. No transfusions were required.

CONCLUSIONS: York-Mason repair of recto-urinary fistula is an excellent approach to a rare and often confounding surgical complication. It provides nice exposure through unscarred planes and allows adequate closure. The success rate is excellent compared with that of other reported techniques. Postoperative recovery is rapid with minimal morbidity.

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