Transperineal omentum flap for the anatomic reconstruction of the rectovaginal space in the therapy of rectovaginal fistulas

E. Schloericke*, M. Hoffmann, M. Zimmermann, M. Kraus, R. Bouchard, U. J. Roblick, P. Hildebrand, J. Nolde, H. P. Bruch, S. Limmer

*Corresponding author for this work
13 Citations (Scopus)


Aim Deep rectovaginal fistulas are a rare entity and pose a delicate challenge for the surgeon. The present study introduces different operative interventions involved in transperineal omental flap surgery. Method A retrospective analysis of all patients treated with a low or mid rectovaginal or enterovaginal fistula at the Department of Surgery of the University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Luebeck, was performed. Treatment results were discussed with respect to aetiology, localization, morbidity and outcome. Results Between the years 2000 and 2010, a total of nine patients with a low or mid rectovaginal fistula were treated at our clinic. After local fistulectomy, all patients were additionally treated by a laparoscopically assisted omental flap reconstruction of the rectovaginal and perineal space. Eight of the nine patients received a protective ileostomy or colostomy. Only the patient with a history of Crohn's disease had no ileostomy raised. At a median follow-up of 22months, no patient experienced recurrence of a rectovaginal fistula. Perioperative mortality was zero and minor complications were observed in 22%. Major complications were an anastomotic insufficiency after low anterior resection that was treated without further interventions. Another complication was a persistent fistula within the sphincter that needed re-operation and bovine plug repair combined with a mucosa flap. Conclusions Complete omental reconstruction of the rectovaginal space appears decisive in the operative therapy of deep rectovaginal or enterovaginal fistulas. Comparative studies on standard therapies are necessary although direct comparison of case series is difficult.

Original languageEnglish
JournalColorectal Disease
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)604-610
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2012


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