Forty women with low rectovaginal fistulas were operated upon over a 9-year period. The etiology of the fistula in the majority was obstetric. Nine women had prior attempts to repair the fistula. All 40 women were managed with endorectal advancement flap with the addition of sphincteroplasty or perineal body reconstruction in 15 patients and rectocele repair in six patients. Postoperative complications included urinary difficulties (two patients) and wound complications (three patients). There were two recurrences. All women treated with sphincteroplasty or perineal body reconstruction were continent. Seven women complained of varying degrees of incontinence postoperatively; none had undergone sphincter or perineal body reconstruction. Endorectal advancement flap is a safe and effective operation for women with rectovaginal fistulas. Concomitant sphincteroplasty or perineal body reconstruction should be performed in women with historical, physical, or manometric evidence of incontinence.
© The ASCRS 1991