Author(s): Porcaro AB, Zicari M, Zecchini Antoniolli S, Pianon R, Monaco C
Herein we report on 1 more case of vesicouterine fistula following cesarean section with review and update of the literature concerning this unusual topic. The disease presented with vaginal urinary leakage, cyclic hematuria and amenorrhea. The fistula was successfully repaired by delayed surgery. Actually, all over the world the prevalence of the disease is increasing for the frequent use of the cesarean section. Fistulas may develop immediately after a cesarean section, manifest in the late puerperium or occur after repeated procedures. Spontaneous healing is reported in 5% of cases. Vesicouterine fistulas present with vaginal urinary leakage, cyclic hematuira (menouria), amenorrhea, infertility, and first trimester abortions. The diagnosis is ruled out by showing the fistulous track between bladder and uterus as well as by excluding other more frequent urogenital fistulas. The disease treatment options include conservative treatment as well as surgical repair. Rarely, patients refuse any kind of treatment because of the benignity of symptoms and prognosis of the disease. Conservative management by bladder catheterization for at least 4-8 weeks is indicated when the fistula is discoveredjust after delivery since there is good chance for spontaneous closure of the fistulous track. Hormonal management should be tried in women presenting with Youssef's syndrome. Surgery is the maninstay and definitive treatment of vesicouterine fistulas after cesarean section. Patients scheduled for surgery should undergo pretreatment of urinary tract infections. Surgical repair of vesico-uterine fistulas are performed by different approaches which include the vaginal, transvesical-retroperitoneal and transperitoneal access which is considered the most effective with the lowest relapse rate. Recently, laparoscopy has been proposed as a valid option for repairing vesicouterine fistulas. The endoscopic treatment may be effective in treating small vesicouterine fistulas. The pregnancy rate after repair is 31.25% with a rate of term deliveries of 25%. The disease may be prevented by emptying the bladder as well as by carefully dissecting the lower uterine segment. It is advisable that after vesicouterine fistula repair delivery should be performed by repeating a cesarean section since the risk of fistula recurrence. Usually, vesicouterine fistulas are diagnosed postoperatively. As a result, at least 95% of patients will undergo another operation for repairing the fistula. In the meantime they are bothered by related symptoms which impair their quality of life. As far as we are concerned intraoperative diagnosis is the gold standard in detecting vesicouterine fistulas for allowing immediate repair. We propose intraoperative sonography by the transvaginal (or transrectal) route for the Foley transurethral catheter producing bloody urine, for suspecting bladder injury while dissecting the uterine lower segment and for monitoring patients who already had had vesicouterine fistula repair. As a result patients will avoid the familial and social problems related to the disease as well another operation. Moreover, ultrasound Doppler examination may help in better investigating and understanding the pathophysiology of vesicouterine fistulas.