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J R Soc Med. 1992 May; 85(5): 257–258.
PMCID: PMC1294599

Vesico-vaginal and recto-vaginal fistulae.


A personal series of 716 patients with vesico-vaginal and/or recto-vaginal fistulae is presented. Five hundred and seventy-eight patients were managed in Africa, mainly at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, while 138 were kindly referred to me from various parts of Britain. The main cause of such fistulae in the developing world is pressure necrosis from obstructed labour. In the developed world the aetiology is surgery, malignancy, radiotherapy or a combination of these. Other causes include neglected foreign bodies, coital injury and local treatment by an unqualified practitioner. A vesico-vaginal fistula alone was present in 78.8%, a recto-vaginal fistula alone in 4.3%, while 16.9% of patients had both a vesico-vaginal and a recto-vaginal fistula. Six hundred and six (84.6%) patients were cured at the first attempt at repair, 45 (6.3%) failed and 65 (9.1%) had stress incontinence.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Tahzib F. Epidemiological determinants of vesicovaginal fistulas. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1983 May;90(5):387–391. [PubMed]
  • Barnaud P, Veillard JM, Richard J, Jaud V, Masson F, Corbeille R, Guillotreau J. Les fistules vésico-vaginales africaines. Med Trop (Mars) 1980 Jul-Aug;40(4):389–401. [PubMed]
  • Kelly J. Vesicovaginal fistulae. Br J Urol. 1979 Jun;51(3):208–210. [PubMed]
  • Hamlin RH, Nicholson EC. Reconstruction of urethra totally destroyed in labour. Br Med J. 1969 Apr 19;2(5650):147–150. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Poovan P, Kifle F, Kwast BE. A maternity waiting home reduces obstetric catastrophes. World Health Forum. 1990;11(4):440–445. [PubMed]

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