Management of diverticular fistulae to the female genital tract.Colorectal Dis. 2007 Jun; 9(5):438-42.CD
Fistulae to the female genital tract are an infrequent but severe complication of diverticular disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate treatment and outcome in patients with diverticular colo-genital fistulae.
Sixty women treated for diverticular fistulae (DF) to the female genital tract during 1992-2004 were identified. Clinic and operative charts were reviewed. Mean age was 70 years and mean follow-up time after surgery was 1 year.
Most common presenting symptoms were vaginal discharge of faeces or gas (95% of patients) and abdominal pain (43%). About 75% of patients had undergone a hysterectomy. Forty-six patients underwent at least one radiological contrast study and the fistula was demonstrated in 35 (76%) patients. Fifty-seven patients had surgery, and findings included colo-vaginal fistulae (n = 47), colo-uterine fistulae (n = 2) and multiple fistulae involving vagina and other organs (n = 8). A sigmoid resection and primary anastomosis was performed in 51 and a Hartmann procedure with colostomy in six patients. Sixteen (28%) patients experienced morbidity after surgery, including anastomotic dehiscence (n = 4) and ureteric injury (n = 3). There was no mortality.
Diverticular fistulae to the female genital tract usually occur in elderly patients with a prior hysterectomy. Radiological contrast studies demonstrate the fistulous tract in most cases. Sigmoid resection and primary anastomosis results in a satisfactory outcome in the majority of patients.