Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF)
Synonyms: Vaginal Fistula, Female Urogenital Fistula, UGF
Vesicovaginal Fistula is an abnormal opening between the urinary bladder and vagina that results in continuous, involuntary dribbling (incontinence) of urine from the vagina.
Where can I get surgical repair of Vesicovaginal Fistula?
All prices are in US dollars and include the cost of the procedure and minimum hospital stay. Estimates and minimum hospital stay will vary depending upon individual needs and requirements.
The foremost cause of Vesicovaginal Fistula is difficult and unattended deliveries. Another cause of Vesicovaginal Fistula is injury during gynecologic surgery like hysterectomy where there is extensive dissection between the bladder and the uterus, unrecognized bladder laceration, inappropriate stitch placement, and / or devascularization injury to the tissues. Some factors that increase your risk of developing Vesicovaginal Fistula are history of Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases, pelvic malignancy, endometriosis, infection, diabetes, prior pelvic or vaginal surgery and anatomic distortion of the vaginal vault.
Depending on the location, cause, complexity, or site of obstruction, Vesicovaginal Fistula can be classified as:
The goal of surgical repair of Vesicovaginal Fistula include adequate exposure, good homeostasis, wide mobilization of the bladder and vagina, resection of devascularized tissue and removal of foreign body, tension free closure, non-opposition of suture lines, and confirmation of a water tight seal on bladder closure, and postoperative bladder drainage for 10-14 days with the help of a foley's catheter. Vesicovaginal Fistula can either be treated by vaginal approach or abdominal approach.
Ask your doctor about any special instructions to prepare for the surgical repair of Vesicovaginal Fistula. Since all medical procedure have a small risk of injury, e.g. injury to ureter or rectum, you will need to sign a consent form before the test. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor about any concerns you might have. You may be asked to give a urine sample before the test to check for infection. Avoid urinating for an hour before this part of the test. Inform your physician about your other health conditions and medications (including all the prescription, non-prescription medications, nutritional supplements i.e. vitamins, minerals and herbal products). Refrain from taking aspirin or Ibuprofen at least 2 weeks before the surgical repair of Vesicovaginal Fistula. Stop smoking a few weeks before the operation to prevent healing problems during recovery period. Do not eat or drink anything for at least 10 hours before the the Vesicovaginal Fistula surgery. You will wear a hospital gown for the examination, and the lower part of your body will be covered with a sterile drape. In most cases, you will lie on your back with your knees raised and apart. The procedure will be performed under general anesthesia and you will be hospitalized for 3 - 4 days (for transabdominal approach) or 1 - 2 days (for transvaginal approach) for the surgical repair of Vesicovaginal Fistula. A nurse or technician will clean the area around your urethral opening and apply a local anesthetic.
Surgical repair of Vesicovaginal Fistula entails surgery to the bladder as well as the vagina. You will spend the next couple of days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) under observation following surgical repair of Vesicovaginal Fistula. Your vital signs, circulation and respiration will be closely monitored. You will also be closely monitored for any immediate post-operative complications like excessive bleeding. You will notice thin tubes (drains) in your pelvic area. These will be removed 7 - 10 days after your operation to repair Vesicovaginal Fistula. There will also be a small plastic drain tube from your abdomen that will stay in place for about 5 - 7 days. You will experience some pain and discomfort which can be alleviated by the use of pain medication. Keep the operation area clean, avoid heavy lifting and sexual activity for 3 - 4 weeks. You will be able to get back to your normal activities in 2 months time following operation to repair Vesicovaginal Fistula. Before going home you will be provided with a follow up regimen that will comprise of Cystoscopy 3 months for at least 2 years.
Surgery to repair Vesicovaginal Fistula is quite successful. The success rate of repairing a Vesicovaginal Fistula is 90 - 95%. For repair of complex Vesicovaginal Fistula, the success rate is less than 90%, but, for experienced surgeons, the outcome remains highly successful.
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Keywords: Stress Urinary Incontinence, Urethral Sphincter Weakeness, Cystocele, Urethrocele, Urethral / Ureteral Stricture, Urinary Incontinence, Urethral Sphincter, Rectocele, Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases, Pelvic Malignancy, Endometriosis, Infection, Diabetes, Pelvic or Vaginal Surgery, Vaginal Vault