What is the role of open surgery in the treatment of enterovesical fistula?

Updated: Dec 24, 2020
  • Author: Joseph Basler, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Colovesical fistulae can almost always be treated with resection of the involved segment of colon and primary reanastomosis. Fistulae due to inflammation are generally managed with resection of the primarily affected diseased segment of intestine, with repair of the bladder only when large visible defects are present. The bladder usually heals uneventfully with temporary urethral catheter drainage. Suprapubic tube diversion is an option but is not necessary. [61]

Historically, staged procedures were used to treat colovesical fistula. Staged repairs may be more judicious in patients with large intervening pelvic abscesses or in those with advanced malignancy or radiation changes. Most cases do not involve abscesses. If an abscess is present, spontaneous drainage through the fistula into the bladder may alleviate the immediate need for drainage if the bladder is emptying under low pressure. Further operations may be delayed pending culture results and after adequate antibiotic therapy has reduced the inflammation. A one-stage operation is recommended for patients in good general health who have a well-organized fistula and no systemic infection. [62]

A diverting colostomy, with or without urinary diversion, may be used as a long-term solution for palliation or severe radiation damage in cases of advanced cancer.

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