Minimally Invasive Management of Concomitant Vesicovaginal and Ureterovaginal Fistulas After Transabdominal Hysterectomy: Laparoscopic Vesicovaginal Fistula Repair With Ureteroneocystostomy Using a Boari Flap

J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2018 Jan;25(1):17-18. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2017.04.013. Epub 2017 May 3.


Study objective: To demonstrate a laparoscopic approach for repair of concomitant vesicovaginal and ureterovaginal fistulas as a troublesome complication of transabdominal hysterectomy (TAH).

Design: Video presentation with narration demonstrating a laparoscopic approach for repair of a vesicovaginal fistula and ureter reimplantation using a bladder (Boari) flap (Canadian Task Force Classification III).

Setting: Mothers and Children Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. The local Institutional Review Board deemed this video exempt from formal approval.

Interventions: This 55-year-old woman had a history of continuous urine leakage from the vagina for 10 days after undergoing a complicated TAH. She had sustained an injury to the posterior bladder wall and right ureteral transection during TAH, which had been recognized and managed by ureteroneocystostomy into the posterior bladder wall over a double-J stent and bladder repair. A 4-week course of conservative therapy failed to manage her continuous urine leakage. After cystoscopic evaluation and catheterization of the fistula tract and left ureter, 4-port transperitoneal laparoscopy was performed. The right ureter was identified, divided, and mobilized. The vesicovaginal pouch was entered, the posterior wall of the bladder was opened at the level of the fistula, and the fistula tract was dissected. Once the bladder was separated from the vaginal cuff, both were repaired with absorbable sutures, and an omental flap was interposed between them. The Retzius space was developed, and a 7 × 2-cm bladder (Boari) flap was harvested from the anterior bladder wall to bridge the gap between the bladder and the ureter. After the bladder flap was tabularized, it was anastomosed to the right ureter, and the anterior bladder wall was closed. The total operating time was 250 minutes. Excellent laparoscopic visualization and magnification, along with the presence of a catheter in the fistula tract, allowed for meticulous dissection in the retrovesical space between the bladder and the vaginal cuff, as well as resection of the fistula tract with minimal manipulation of the bladder, without the need for a large cystotomy. The Foley and the ureter catheters were removed at 2 and 4 weeks after the operation, respectively. Intravenous pyelography at 3 months postsurgery showed no hydronephrosis, and the patient remained symptom-free during the follow-up period.

Conclusion: With adequate laparoscopic experience and patient counseling, complex genitourinary fistulas can be approached with a minimally invasive technique. The laparoscopic approach provides excellent exposure to a poorly exposed area of the retrovesical space while minimizing bladder manipulation.

Keywords: Boari flap; Genitourinary fistula; Laparoscopy; Ureteral reimplantation; Ureteroneocystostomy; Ureterovaginal fistula; Vesicovaginal fistula.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / surgery
  • Cystotomy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / adverse effects*
  • Hysterectomy / methods
  • Laparoscopy / methods*
  • Laparotomy / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Operative Time
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Ureter / pathology
  • Ureter / surgery
  • Ureteral Diseases / etiology
  • Ureteral Diseases / surgery*
  • Vaginal Fistula / etiology
  • Vaginal Fistula / surgery*
  • Vesicovaginal Fistula / etiology
  • Vesicovaginal Fistula / surgery*