BACKGROUND: Fistula between an ileal pouch and the vagina is an uncommon complication of ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. Its optimal management has not been determined because of its low incidence.
METHODS: The literature describing such fistulas was reviewed to determine the incidence, cause, and appropriate investigation and repair of these lesions. A literature search was performed with the PubMed, MEDLINE, and EMBASE databases. Through this search we located English-language articles from 1970 to 2003 on pouch-vaginal fistulas following ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. References from these articles were searched manually for further references.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Pouch-vaginal fistula occurs in 6.3 (range, 3.3-15.8) percent of female patients with an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. Sepsis and technical factors are the most common contributors. It is the cause of considerable morbidity. Management depends on the level of the fistula, the amount of pelvic scar tissue, and previous treatments. An algorithm for surgical treatment is suggested.
(C) The ASCRS 2005