Obstetric fistulas: A clinical review

A. A. Creanga, Rene R. Genadry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


A high proportion of genitourinary fistulas have an obstetric origin. Obstetric fistulas are caused by prolonged obstructed labor coupled with a lack of medical attention. While successful management with prolonged bladder drainage has occasionally been reported, mature fistulas require formal operative repair, and it is crucial that the first repair is done properly. The literature reports 3 approaches to fistula repair: vaginal, abdominal, and combined vaginal and abdominal. Many authors report high success rates for the surgical closure of obstetric fistulas at the time of hospital discharge, without further evaluation of the repair's effect on urinary continence or subsequent quality of life. Data on obstetric fistulas are scarce, and thus many questions regarding fistula management remain unanswered. A standardized terminology and classification, as well as a data reporting system on the surgical management of obstetric fistulas and its outcomes, are critical steps that need to be taken immediately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S40-S46
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Obstetric fistula
  • Obstructed labor
  • Recto-vaginal fistula
  • Vesico-vaginal fistula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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