Ileal pouch vaginal fistulas: Incidence, etiology, and management

Steven D. Wexner, David A. Rothenberger, Linda Jensen, Stanley M. Goldberg, Emmanuel G. Balcos, Paul Belliveau, Bradley H. Bennett, John G. Buls, Jeffrey M. Cohen, Harold L. Kennedy, Steven J. Medwell, Theodore M. Ross, David J. Schoetz, Lee E. Smith, Alan G. Thorson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Some of the initial problems associated with the ileonal reservoir have been solved. In their place, other complications have been recognized. Among these, the ileal pouch vaginal fistula stands out as a recently recognized difficult management problem. This multicenter study was undertaken to gain insight into the causes for, and treatment of, pouch vaginal fistulas. Cases were gathered from 11 surgical practices, throughout North America, in which the ileoanal reservoir procedure is frequently performed. Overall, 304 females had undergone ileoanal reservoir procedures by these surgical groups. Twenty-one patients developed 22 pouch vaginal fistulas for an overall incidence of 6.9 percent. Five additional patients with pouch vaginal fistulas, whose restorative proctocolectomies were done elsewhere, were referred to these surgeons for treatment. The courses of these 26 patients form the basis of this report. This study details the risk factors which predispose to the development of a pouch vaginal fistula, as well as the various treatment options available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-465
Number of pages6
JournalDiseases of the Colon & Rectum
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1989


  • Anal fistula
  • Complications
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis
  • Ileoanal reservior
  • Pouch
  • Restorative proctocolectomy
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Vaginal fistula


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