Bladder mucosal autografts for repair of vesicovaginal fistula


Professor P. B. Singh, Department of Urology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221 005, India.


Twenty-two women with primary and secondary (five patients) vesicovaginal fistula attending a tertiary level urological unit in India were treated by repair of the fistula using bladder mucosal autografts. The fistula was approached transabdominally or via a combined abdominal and vaginal approach (for those involving the trigone). After closure of the vaginal layer, bladder mucosa was harvested from the dome of the bladder and laid over the fistula with sutures at each corner to fix it in place. Patients were catheterised for 12–14 days. At follow up after 3 to 12 months, 20 out of 22 patients were continent, with no other symptoms. The two failures had undergone two previous repairs each. This series is the first from India, and demonstrates the efficacy of bladder mucosal autografts for managing large fistulae, those where a previous repair has failed and fistulae adjacent to the ureteric orifice without the need for uretero-neocystostomy.