Management of a vesicovaginal fistula using holmium laser ablation

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Introduction and hypothesis

The objective was to demonstrate a surgical technique for the management of a small vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) involving a combination of cystoscopic holmium laser ablation and vaginal repair.


A 55-year-old morbidly obese female presented with complaints of menometrorrhagia and complex adnexal mass. She underwent an attempted robotic hysterectomy, which was converted to open hysterectomy, omentectomy, and lymphadenectomy owing to an intraoperative diagnosis of endometrioid carcinoma of the endometrium and dense pelvic adhesions. Postoperatively, the patient developed intermittent urinary leakage associated with position change. On evaluation, a speculum examination did not reveal any fistulous tract or leakage of fluid in the vagina. A tampon test was positive, but no evidence of a fistula was noted on a CT urogram. Cystourethroscopy was performed and identified a small VVF. The patient subsequently underwent repair of her VVF using a combination of cystoscopic holmium laser ablation and transvaginal excision of the suspected fistula opening.


About 2 weeks after the surgery, a tampon test was negative and cystourethroscopy revealed healing bladder mucosa. The patient remains fistula-free at 12 months post-operatively.


Holmium laser ablation combined with partial vaginal excision may be considered as a management option for a small VVF.

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Vesicovaginal fistula


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Correspondence to Ruchira Singh.

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Singh, R., Schmitt, J.J., Knoedler, J.J. et al. Management of a vesicovaginal fistula using holmium laser ablation. Int Urogynecol J 27, 969–971 (2016).

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  • Holmium
  • Laser ablation
  • Vesicovaginal fistula