Fascial patch technique for repair of complicated urethrovaginal fistula

Jacob Golomb, Ilan Leibovitch, Yoram Mor, Andrei Nadu, Jacob Ramon
Urology 2006, 68 (5): 1115-8

INTRODUCTION: The operative repair of urethrovaginal fistula due to tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) erosion is a challenging task, and coexisting stress urinary incontinence may complicate the situation even further. We present our technique for the repair of recurrent urethrovaginal fistula combined with stress urinary incontinence, occurring after previous removal of an eroded TVT and failed repair of the fistula.

TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS: With the patient in the dorsal lithotomy position, an inverted U-shaped incision was cut in the anterior vaginal wall, and a vaginal flap was developed. The Martius flap from the previous repair was identified and separated from the urethra, thereby disclosing a large fistula hole on the left side of the mid-urethra. Because the periurethral tissues were very friable and attenuated, only one-layer closure of the fistula hole with these tissues was feasible. Therefore, we opted to combine a pubovaginal fascial sling with a fascial patch graft, used to reinforce the fistula site. Through a low transverse abdominal incision, a 15 x 2-cm strip of rectus fascia was harvested. A 2 x 2-cm patch of fascia was excised from the strip and transfixed to the periurethral tissues, covering the sutured fistula site. The Martius flap was repositioned over the flap, and a pubovaginal sling procedure was done. The postoperative course was uneventful, the fistula has healed, and the patient regained full continence.

CONCLUSIONS: This technique can be used in complicated urethrovaginal fistula repair when the surrounding periurethral tissues have been devastated and can be combined with pubovaginal fascial sling placement.

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