Rectovaginal Fistual Repair

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What is rectovaginal fistula repair?

A rectovaginal fistula is when there is an abnormal connection or a hole between the rectum and the vagina. The rectovaginal fistula repair procedure is used to correct this problem.

What are the benefits?

If the hole between the rectum and the vagina is big enough, it can cause feces and flatulence to exit through the vagina. This can lead to fecal incontinence, which is associated with urinary and vaginal infections. This procedure will eliminate such problems.

What are the risks associated with this procedure?

  • Damage to a vein or artery that could cause serious bleeding.
  • Making a hole in the bladder that could cause a tract (fistula) between the vagina and the bladder.
  • Making a hole in the rectum that could cause a tract (fistula) between the vagina and the rectum.
  • That any urine leakage may not be improved.
  • There may be difficulty emptying my bladder.
  • Damage to the uterus or to the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
  • That I may develop bulging in my vagina (vaginal vault eversion).
  • That I may develop infection in my incisions or my bladder.

How do I prepare for rectovaginal fistula repair?

Follow your health care provider's instructions about not smoking before and after the procedure. Smokers heal more slowly after surgery. They are also more likely to have breathing problems during surgery. For this reason, if you are a smoker, you should quit at least 2 weeks before the procedure. It is best to quit 6 to 8 weeks before surgery. Also, your wounds will heal much better if you do not smoke after surgery.

Follow any other instructions your provider gives you. If you are to have general anesthesia, eat a light meal, such as soup or salad, the night before midnight. Do not even drink coffee, tea, or water.

What happens after the procedure?

You should create a plan for rest and care as you are likely to feel tired and need rest two or three times a day for a for three to four weeks. You will gradually improve. You can drive as soon as you can make an emergency stop without discomfort, generally after three weeks. You can start sexual relations before you return for the six-week check, if you feel comfortable enough, and you have no blood loss. You should be able to return to work after about six weeks.

When should I call Greenville OB/GYN

Call our emergency number at any time if:

  • You have a fever over 100 F (37.8 C).

Call during regular office hours if:

  • You have questions about the procedure or its result.
  • You want to make another appointment.

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