Transvaginal Repair of a Peritoneal-Vaginal Fistula

Poone S. Shoureshi, Kamran P. Sajadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Pelvic organ prolapse is an increasingly reported complication following anterior pelvic exenteration and usually consists of an anterior enterocele.1-4 We present the surgical management of a peritoneal-vaginal fistula in a woman who presented with an acute enterocele 16 months following vaginal sparing, robot-assisted laparoscopic anterior pelvic exenteration. METHODS: Our patient is an 85-year-old female with history of upper tract urothelial carcinoma who underwent a left nephroureterectomy in 2008, and vaginal sparing robot-assisted laparoscopic anterior pelvic exenteration for BCG-refractory carcinoma in situ of the bladder in August 2016. She presented in November 2017 with new onset vaginal bleeding and discharge. On physical examination, she had a dehisced vaginal cuff apex with a bulging enterocele. There were no signs of active evisceration or strangulation. The patient was no longer sexually active and desired surgical treatment. At the time of surgery, a mature peritoneal-vaginal fistula was identified, and the fistula and prolapse were surgically managed with colpectomy and colpocleisis. RESULTS: Intraoperatively found to have a partial vaginal cuff dehiscence covered with granulation tissue, resulting in a 5 mm peritoneal-vaginal fistula. The granulation-covered enterocele sac was trimmed, dissected free, closed, and reduced with serial purse-string sutures. In this fashion, the sutures were used to not only reduce the fistula, but to also perform a colpocleisis and colpectomy. The colpocleisis and colpectomy were performed due to lack of supportive apical vaginal structures and patient desire. The serial purse-string sutures not only provided additional apical support, but also reduced the likelihood of fistula recurrence by covering the peritoneum. CONCLUSION: Transvaginal peritoneal-vaginal fistula repair with serial purse-string sutures and partial colpectomy provides a technique for repair in patients who do not have supportive apical tissue following exenterative surgery. The ideal prevention of this problem at the time of cystectomy and management for when it occurs remains unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268
Number of pages1
StatePublished - Sep 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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