Author(s): Arias BE, Ridgeway B, Barber MD
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Abstract Vaginal pessaries are often used as first-line management of pelvic organ prolapse in women who are poor surgical candidates or who decline surgical repair. Mostly, pessaries are well tolerated but when neglected may lead to serious complications including vesicovaginal and rectovaginal fistulas. An 89-year-old woman presented with a large vesicovaginal fistula resulting from a Gellhorn pessary that had been neglected for 3 years. The base of the pessary had migrated completely inside the bladder and the fistulous opening measured 4 cm. The pessary was extracted under anesthesia using a Schuchardt incision to increase exposure. After 6 weeks of vaginal estrogen treatment, the fistula was successfully repaired using the Latzko partial colpocleisis technique. Neglect of a vaginal pessary can lead to serious complications. Patient education, local estrogen treatment, excellent fitting, and careful follow-up are of paramount importance in prevention of such complications.
This article was published in Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct
and referenced in Journal of Pain & Relief