Guidelines of how to manage vesicovaginal fistula Article

cited authors

  • Angioli, R; Penalver, M; Muzii, L; Mendez, L; Mirhashemi, R; Bellati, F; Crocè, C; Panici, PB

fiu authors


  • Vesicovaginal fistulas are among the most distressing complications of gynecologic and obstetric procedures. The risk of developing vesicovaginal fistula is more than 1% after radical surgery and radiotherapy for gynecologic malignancies. Management of these fistulas has been better defined and standardized over the last decade. We describe in this paper the success rate reported in the literature by treatment modality and the guidelines used at our teaching hospitals, University of Rome Campus Biomedico and University of Miami School of Medicine. In general, our preferred approach is a trans-vaginal repair. To the performance of the surgical treatment, we recommend a minimum of a 4-6 week's wait from the onset of the fistula. The vaginal repair techniques can be categorized as to those that are modifications of the Latzko procedure or a layered closure with or without a Martius flap. The most frequently used abdominal approaches are the bivalve technique or the fistula excision. Radiated fistulas usually require a more individualized management and complex surgical procedures. The rate of successful fistula repair reported in the literature varies between 70 and 100% in non-radiated patients, with similar results when a vaginal or abdominal approach is performed, the mean success rates being 91 and 97%, respectively. Fistulas in radiated patients are less frequently repaired and the success rate varies between 40 and 100%. In this setting many institutions prefer to perform a urinary diversion. In conclusion, the vaginal approach of vesicovaginal fistulas repair should be the preferred one. Transvaginal repairs achieve comparable success rates, while minimizing operative complications, hospital stay, blood loss, and post surgical pain. We recommend waiting at least 4-6 weeks prior to attempting repair of a vesicovaginal fistula. It is acceptable to repeat the repair through a vaginal approach even after a first vaginal approach failure. In the more individualized management of fistulas associated with radiation, the vaginal approach should still be considered. © 2003 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • January 1, 2003

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 295

end page

  • 304


  • 48


  • 3