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Vesicovaginal Fistula Repair

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

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 or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He or she will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. Arrange to have someone drive you home and stay with you after surgery.

What will happen during surgery?

  • You will be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Your surgeon may insert a scope through your urethra to check the location of your fistula. A stent will be placed in each ureter to protect them during surgery. Your surgeon will make an incision around the fistula. The fistula will be cut out or sewn closed. The outside walls of your vagina and bladder will be separated. Your surgeon will close the incision with stitches. Bandages soaked with antibiotic medicine may be placed in your vagina to help prevent infection.
  • If your surgery is done through your abdomen, your surgeon will make an incision under your belly button. The wall of your bladder will be cut away from your vagina and the fistula removed. Your surgeon 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. The incision will be closed 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.

© 2017 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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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