Laparoscopic fistula excision and omentoplasty for high rectovaginal fistulas: a prospective study of 40 patients.

S.J. van der Hagen*, P.B. Soeters, C.G.M.I. Baeten, W.G. van Gemert

*Corresponding author for this work

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AIM: The aim of this study is to prospectively evaluate 40 patients with a high rectovaginal fistula treated by a laparoscopic fistula division and closure, followed by an omentoplasty. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Forty patients with a rectovaginal fistula, between the middle third of the rectum and the posterior vaginal fornix, resulting from different causes (IBD, iatrogenic and birth trauma) were treated by a laparoscopic excision of the fistula and insertion of an omentoplasty in the rectovaginal septum. The patients completed the gastrointestinal quality of life index questionnaire (GIQLI) and the Cleveland Clinic incontinence score (CCIS). All tests were performed at regular intervals after treatment. RESULTS: In 38 (95%) patients with a median age of 53 years (range 33-72), the surgical procedure was feasible. In two patients, the fistula was closed without an omentoplasty, and a diverting stoma was performed. The median follow-up was 28 months (range 10-35). Two patients (5%) developed a recurrent fistula. In one patient, the interposed omentum became necrotic and was successfully treated laparoscopically. In another patient, an abscess developed, which needed drainage procedures. The mean CCIS was 9 (range 7-10) before treatment and 10 (range 7-13) after treatment (p = 0.5 Wilcoxon). The median GIQLI score was 85 (range 34-129) before treatment and 120 (range75-142) after treatment (p = 0.0001, Wilcoxon). CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic fistula excision combined with omentoplasty is a good treatment modality with a high healing rate for high rectovaginal fistulas and an acceptable complication rate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1463-1467
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Colorectal Disease
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • Omentoplasty
  • Omentum
  • Laparoscopic fistula excision
  • Rectovaginal fistulas
  • Rectovaginal septum

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