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Urology. 2006 May;67(5):970-3.

Robotic repair of vesicovaginal fistula: case series of five patients.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Hospital Sultanah Aminah, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.



To describe a technique of robotic repair of vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) and present our experience with 5 such patients.


A total of 5 patients were diagnosed with posthysterectomy (n = 4) or postmyomectomy (n = 1) VVF. All patients were first treated conservatively with continuous drainage using a Foley catheter without any success. After 12 weeks, these patients underwent robotic repair of the VVF. The steps of the technique of robotic repair are (a) vaginoscopy, (b) cystoscopy, (c) bilateral ureteral catheterization, (d) placement of ports for robotic repair, (e) peritoneoscopy, (f) lysis of adhesions, (g) incision of the bladder and cystotomy in reverse tennis racquet fashion encircling the fistula, (h) excision and freshening of the fistulous margins after complete separation of the bladder from the vagina, (i) closure of the vaginal opening horizontally and bladder opening vertically with interrupted Vicryl sutures, and, finally, (j) interposition of the omentum between these suture lines.


Fistula repair was successful in all cases, with a mean operative time (from cystoscopy to the end of the procedure) of 233 minutes (range 150 to 330) and estimated blood loss of less than 70 mL. The length of hospital stay was a mean of 5 days (range 4 to 7). The Foley catheter was removed on the 10th postoperative day after voiding cystourethrography. At 6 months of follow-up, these patients continued to void normally without any recurrence of VVF.


These data suggest that robot-assisted VVF repair is feasible and results in lower morbidity, a shorter hospital stay, and a quicker recovery. The minimally invasive approach of robot-assisted VVF repair may be a more attractive option for patients with VVF.

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