Published online Jun 28, 2010. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i24.3011
Revised: March 30, 2010
Accepted: April 6, 2010
Published online: June 28, 2010
AIM: To communicate our findings on successful treatment of recto-vaginal fistulas (RVFs) after prosthetic reinforcement surgery of pelvic organ prolapse (POP).
METHODS: A retrospective single center study between 1998 and 2008 was performed. A total of 80 patients with RVF were identified, of which five patients (6%), with a mean age of 65 years (range: 52-73), had undergone previous surgery for POP with prosthetic reinforcement.
RESULTS: All patients complained about ongoing vaginal infections and febrile episodes. These symptoms were reported after a mean period of 18 mo after POP repair. As a first intervention, three patients underwent ablation of the prosthetic material (PM). As a second intervention, open proctectomy with a primary anastomosis, an omental patch, and a protective ileostomy were performed in two patients. One patient required a terminal colostomy due to complete destruction of the anal sphincters. In two other patients, ablation of the PM and proctectomy was performed as a one-step procedure. The postoperative course in all patients was uneventful, with a mean length of hospitalization of 20 d (range: 15-30). Closure of the ileostomy was achieved in all four patients within four months. After a mean period of 35 mo (range: 4-60) of follow-up, no recurrence was observed with normal continence in four patients.
CONCLUSION: In our experience, the definitive treatment of high RVFs after PM repair for POP necessitates ablation of the PM, proctectomy with a primary colo-rectal anastomosis, an omental patch interposition, and a temporary ileostomy.