Author(s): Sjveian S, Vangen S, Mukwege D, Onsrud M, Sjveian S, Vangen S, Mukwege D, Onsrud M
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to investigate obstetric fistula in terms of patient demographics, fistula characteristics and predictors of surgical outcome. DESIGN: Retrospective cross-sectional study. SETTING: Fistula referral hospital in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Population. Five hundred and ninety-five women receiving fistula repair from November 2005 to November 2007. METHODS: Review of patient records for information on patient demographics, obstetric history, clinical data for index pregnancy, fistula characteristics and surgical information. Cross-tabulations and multivariate logistic regression models were used to predict surgical outcome. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Fistula closure and incontinence despite fistula closure. Results. 82.9\% had developed fistula following obstructed labor, 17.1\% after medical interventions of which 71.1\% involved cesarean section or peripartum hysterectomy. Median age at fistula development was 23 years; 40.8\% were primiparous and 43.2\% were parity three or more. Women took a median of two years to seek treatment. Closure rate was 87.1\%, with 15.6\% remaining incontinent. Failure to close the fistula was significantly associated with previous repairs, amount of fibrosis and fistula size. Compared with primary repairs, the odds ratio of failure was almost five times greater for three or more repairs (odds ratio 4.7, 95\% confidence interval 2.2-10.0). Incontinence was significantly associated with previous repairs, amount of fibrosis and fistula location. Compared with fistulas with a high location, the odds ratio of incontinence for low, circumferential fistulas was 6.3 (95\% confidence interval 2.5-16.4). CONCLUSIONS: Fistula in Democratic Republic of Congo was found in both primiparous and multiparous women, indicating a need for increased access to obstetric care for all pregnant women. Fistulas repaired for the first time, with no fibrosis and size <2 cm, had the best surgical outcome. © 2011 The Authors Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica© 2011 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
This article was published in Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand
and referenced in Tropical Medicine & Surgery