Author(s): Powers K, Grigorescu B, Lazarou G, Greston WM, Weber T
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Pessaries, properly maintained, have been shown to be safe for long-term care of symptomatic vaginal prolapse. Complications from neglected pessaries include impaction, erosion and fistula formation. Vesicovaginal fistulas have been described, but literature reports of rectovaginal fistulas are scarce. CASE: A 70-year-old woman, referred for pessary management, was found to have an impacted pessary that could not be removed due to pain. Examination under anesthesia revealed a Gellhorn pessary in the lumen of the rectum. It was removed transanally, leaving a large rectovaginal fistula. The patient was scheduled for reparative surgery in conjunction with colorectal surgery, but she cancelled the day before. CONCLUSION: For patients with a rectovaginal fistula resulting from an impacted vaginal pessary, a 2-stage procedure is required. The first stage, done under anesthesia, includes removal of the pessary and an examination to assess the size and location of the fistula. The second stage is operative management of the rectovaginal fistula, preceded by adequate bowel preparation. The clinician must stress proper pessary maintenance in order to avoid the serious consequences of a neglected pessary.
This article was published in J Reprod Med
and referenced in Journal of Pain & Relief