Post-Hysterectomy Rectovaginal Fistula: A Series of Five Cases

Post-Hysterectomy Rectovaginal Fistula: A Series of Five Cases

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Corresponding Author
Srikanth Gadiyaram
Surgical Gastroenterology, Department of Surgical Gastroenterology and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Sahasra Hospital, Bangalore, India


Background: Post-hysterectomy recto-vaginal fistula (PH-RVF) is a condition where abnormal communication develops between the healing vaginal vault and the rectum secondary to an iatrogenic surgical insult. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical presentation, work-up, management, and outcomes of patients with PH-RVF. Methods: Patients who underwent repair from January 2006 to December 2020 were analysed. The data was obtained retrospectively from a prospectively maintained database. Results: Five patients formed part of the study. All patients presented with faecal peritonitis required a faecal diversion. The mean distance of the fistula was 9.4 cm from the anal verge. Multi-detector CT with rectal contrast delineated the fistula in all. There were no associated fistulae. Laparoscopic repair was undertaken at a median of 12 weeks after faecal diversion. The average blood loss and mean operative time were 66 mL and 176 minutes, respectively. Tissue interposition was done in three patients. There was no major morbidity. The median hospital stay was five days. Four patients had successful repairs. A recurrence was managed with a laparotomy, fistula takedown, and rectus abdominis interposition. Bowel continuity was restored 10 weeks (mean duration) after definitive repair. At a median follow-up of 114 months, none had vaginal discharge, urinary tract infections, or complaints regarding sexual function. Conclusion: PH-RVF, a particular subset of high recto-vaginal fistula, is a complex fistula. Faecal diversion is required early in the course of management. With adequate planning, laparoscopic primary closure with or without tissue buttress is feasible, safe, and has a favourable long-term outcome.

Article Info

Article Type
Original Article
Publication history
Received: Wed 29, Jun 2022
Accepted: Tue 12, Jul 2022
Published: Sat 16, Jul 2022
© 2021 Srikanth Gadiyaram. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Hosting by Science Repository.
DOI: 10.31487/j.SCR.2022.07.04