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Unread 10-26-2004, 03:16 PM
Rectovaginal fistula complication of surgery

Hi Everyone,
I have a new problem that has come up as a result of my vaginal hysterectomy. I have been diagnosed with what is called a rectovaginal fistula. It is a connection between the rectom and the vagina that allows gas and feces to pass from the rectom into the vagina. It took me a long while (over a year) to get up enough courage to go in and tell my surgeon that I am having this problem. He confirmed the diagnosis by doing an exam and confirming that I have what amounts to a small hole in the vaginal wall. Has anyone ever had this problem? What is the surgical repair like?
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Unread 10-26-2004, 06:52 PM

Please Help!! I've just had my worst fears confirmed. I had a TAH a little over 2 years ago. I also had a bladder sling put in at the same time. I had complications with the sling and to make a long story short, I developed a urethralvaginal fistula. So, I was urinating out of my vagina. I had a constant stream of urine leaking through the fistula. I had that repaired and shortly after I noticed that I had gas passing through my vagina. I also noticed small amounts of feces in my vaginal. Well, I've lived with that for several months now because I just couldn't face more surgery. Well, I finally went back to my surgeon who repaired the first fistula. He confirmed that I do indeed have a rectovaginal fistula. So, now I am facing more surgery. Can someone tell mw what I should expect. Any help /advice would be greatly appreciated.
Unread 10-26-2004, 08:15 PM
Rectovaginal Fistula


I developed a several rectovaginal fistulas after my hysterectomy which also involved my bladder.

I lived with this for two years and on antibiotics to keep the infections under control from all the leakage.

I finally had my bowel resection earlier this year. The surgery was not bad - 7 days in the hospital though - it was the severe endometriosis that was the main concern as to whether they could get through it all and do the repair. THANKFULLY - I did not need a colostomy or the NG tude down into the stomach that these surgeries sometimes require.

I did seek out opinions from several colorectal surgeons as they are the ones that repair this type of fistula. They had different opinions and that was part of the reason I waited as long as I did to find the right one.

Please post or private message me with any questions. This site is how I kept my sanity. I traveled a VERY rough road and was quite ill - I would not have made it without my hystersisters.

Hang in there and let me know if I can be of help.

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Unread 10-26-2004, 08:20 PM

What kind of test did they do to find the hole in the vaginal wall?

I believe I just replied to another posting of yours.

I had my bowel repair surgery earlier this year and am still not convinced that all had totally been resolved.

Please let me know what test they did to find your hole.


Unread 10-26-2004, 11:56 PM


I'm so sorry to hear that you are having complications!

I'm sorry that I can't help except to mention that there is a forum here called Bladder Matters and I saw some postings over there that might be able to help you. There are some postings there regarding fistulas and bladder complications.

Wishing you well!
Unread 10-27-2004, 06:35 AM

Hi Anita,
I'm new to this site and I am legally blind, so I'm having a bit of trouble navigating it. I'd love to send you a private message, but I can't figure out how to do it.

Anyway, the doc that I saw didn't do any test in particular. He is actually a urologist who specializes in fistula repairs. Anyway, he found the fistula just by doing an exam. He was able to insert a small probe through the fistula. He said there are probably more, but the type of repair he is planning will take care of whatever is there. He said he would check for others in the OR. He is the same doctor that fixed my first fistula and he did a wonderful job. Fistulas can be a real nightmare because they are very hard to repair. I'm very nervous about all this. I too have been down a very long, hard road. I have been very ill and have had more surgeries than I can count in the past 3 years. Childbirth was not very kind to my body. Anyway, any advice you can provide will help. I;m just so glad to speak to someone else who has been there.


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