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Predictors of Urinary Retention After Vesicovaginal Fistula Surgery

A Retrospective Case-Control Study

Chang, Olivia H. MD, MPH*†; Pope, Rachel J. MD, MPH*†; Sangi-Haghpeykar, Haleh PhD*†; Ganesh, Prakash MD, MPH; Wilkinson, Jeffrey P. MD*†

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: January 23, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000694
Original Article: PDF Only

Objective The objective of this study is to determine the predictors for urinary retention after vesicovaginal fistula surgery.

Methods This was a retrospective case-control study of women who underwent vesicovaginal fistula repair between January 2014 and December 2017 at the Fistula Care Centre in Lilongwe, Malawi. Cases were defined as patients with documented urinary retention, defined as a postvoid residual that is 50% greater than the total void of at least 100 mL. The cases and controls were matched by the 3 components of the Goh classification system in a ratio of 1:5. Univariate analysis was used to detect differences between demographic, clinical characteristics, and operative techniques between cases and control. Logistic regression analysis was performed for estimation of odds ratios (ORs).

Results There were no statistically significant differences between the 40 cases and 187 controls, when comparing age, gravidity, parity, body mass index, and length of postoperative catheterization. The median amount of postvoid residual noted at the time of diagnosis was 240 mL (range, 55–927 mL). Odds for urinary retention was 3 times higher among those with vertical closure than patients with horizontal closure of the bladder (OR, 2.91; 95% confidence interval, 1.35–6.20). Patients with prior fistula repairs were significantly less likely to develop urinary retention compared to those receiving surgery for the first time (OR, 0.27; 95% confidence interval, 0.10–0.67).

Conclusions Vertical closure of the bladder and patients without a history of prior fistula repairs are predictors for developing urinary retention after fistula repair surgery.

*From the Department of Global Women's Health Program, Obstetrics and Gynecology,

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX; and

International Training and Education Center for Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Correspondence: Olivia H. Chang, MD, MPH, Department of Global Women's Health, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. E-mail:

The authors have declared they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethics approval: Ethics approval was obtained from the National Health Sciences Research Committee of Malawi (Protocol no. CID1116, dated August 25, 2017) and the Baylor College of Medicine Institutional Review Board (no. H37617, dated July 12, 2017).

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