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Urology. 1998 Jul;52(1):61-4; discussion 64-5.

Posthysterectomy vaginal cuff fistula: diagnosis and management of an unusual cause of "incontinence".

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine, USA.



Connection between the vaginal cuff and the peritoneal cavity after hysterectomy is a rare event that can mimic urinary incontinence. The appropriate evaluation and treatment of these patients is discussed.


Five patients underwent excision of the vaginal cuff during a 12-month period. All of these patients had a negative workup for urinary incontinence, except for 1 patient who also had stress incontinence and required a vaginal wall sling at the time of cuff excision.


All 5 patients are presently free of excess vaginal drainage or significantly improved, with a mean follow-up of 6 months. One patient developed stress incontinence after cuff excision and later required a vaginal wall sling. There have been no perioperative complications and no evidence of recurrent fistula.


Fistula of the vaginal cuff is a diagnosis of exclusion after urinary incontinence has been ruled out. A high index of suspicion is often required to make the diagnosis because these patients often present with symptoms highly suggestive of urinary leakage. Fistula of the vaginal cuff is successfully treated with excision of the vaginal cuff and the fistulous tract (if identified), with minimal morbidity.

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