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Vesicovaginal Fistula Repair


What do I need to know about a vesicovaginal fistula repair?

Vesicovaginal fistula repair is surgery to close or remove a fistula between your bladder and vagina. A fistula is an abnormal tissue connection or hole. When you have a fistula, urine exits your body through your vagina, and you cannot control the flow of urine.

Vesicovaginal Fistula

How do I prepare for surgery?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery.

What will happen during surgery?

  • Your healthcare provider will insert a scope through your urethra to check the location of your fistula. He will place a stent in each ureter to protect them during surgery. He will make an incision around the fistula. Your healthcare provider will cut out and remove the fistula or sew it closed. He will separate the outside walls of your vagina and bladder. Your healthcare provider will close the incision with stitches. He may put bandages soaked with antibiotic medicine in your vagina to help prevent infection.
  • If your surgery is done through your abdomen, your healthcare provider will make an incision under your belly button. He will cut the wall of your bladder away from your vagina and remove the fistula. He may put a suprapubic catheter through your abdomen and into your bladder before it is closed. The catheter is used to drain your urine and may stay in place for up to 3 weeks. You may also need a drain to remove extra blood and fluid. Your healthcare provider will close the incision with stitches.

What are the risks of surgery?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your ureters may be damaged. You may have bladder spasms and vaginal bleeding. You may develop bladder stones or not be able to empty your bladder completely. You may still leak urine or have urges to urinate often. Surgery may make your bladder smaller or shorten your vaginal canal. Even after having surgery to remove your fistula, a new fistula may form.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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