Management of urinary-tract fistulas using reversible balloon nephrostomy: a single-center retrospective analysis of 56 patients
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To evaluate the effectiveness of balloon nephrostomy (BN) for treating urinary tract fistulas.
Materials and methods
In a single-center retrospective analysis, 56 patients were treated using BN between 2003 and 2014. All causes of urinary tract fistula were included. We assessed the effectiveness of drainage, complications, and the types of reconstruction surgery used. Success was defined as fistula closure without surgery.
The cohort consisted of 25 males (54%) and 31 females (55%) with a median age of 63 years who underwent BN for a urinary fistula secondary to surgery, i.e., urologic (40%; n = 22), gynecologic (34%; n = 19), or digestive (20%; n = 11). Of these patients, 48 (86%) had a history of cancer (49% had a tumor progression). Median drainage time was 90 days (10–583), with an average of three successive readjustments needed per patient. We obtained a 21% success rate (n = 12), morbidity was 6.5% (urinary sepsis, renal abscess, ureteral stricture), and 7% of patients developed ureteral stricture after balloon removal. There was no recurrence of any fistula within a median follow-up time of 15.2 months.
This minimally invasive procedure can be used for selected urinary tract fistulas with few complications. It can also be used safely in populations that have several comorbidities.
KeywordsIatrogenic Percutaneous treatment Surgery Urinary fistula Unfit population
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The patients’ characteristics and treatment strategies were collected by screening medical records after approval from our Institutional Review Board.
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