Reconstruction | Female | Fistula Repair/Diverticulectomy

Description of Procedure

These procedures are done through a small vaginal incision.  The vaginal fistula or urethral diverticulum is identified and the site of communication with the urinary tract is closed over to stop the urine leakage (fistula) or take away the pocket of redundant tissue (diverticulum).  The area is then repaired in multiple layers.  Usually, the procedure takes between 1 -2 hours.  At a minimum, a urethral catheter is left in afterwards for 10-21 days.  Sometimes a suprapubic (through the lower abdomen) catheter is needed for up to 21 days.

 

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After Procedure

If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact us.

What to Expect

You will have an indwelling catheter please see catheter care instructions.
Try to ensure the catheter and drainage tubing do not get kinked or twisted as this will result in blockage.
An appointment will be arranged for catheter removal, usually within 1-3 weeks.
Urinary frequency, urgency or a stream which is slightly slower than normal may occur in the first 1-2 week after the catheter is removed.
Vaginal bleeding similar to a light period is expected for 1-2 weeks following surgery.
May experience pain or discomfort around incision sites.
You may experience inner thigh discomfort.

Cautions

Report any of the following to your doctor:
Heavy vaginal bleeding or clot passage.
Catheter blockage.
Bright red blood or clots in the urine.
Fever over 38.5 C.
Severe pain unrelieved by medication.

 

Diet

Clear liquid diet immediately after surgery.
Advance to usual diet as tolerated.

 

Activity

Get up and about as soon as possible after surgery.
Walk as tolerated.
Avoid lifting more than 30 lbs or vigorous physical activity for one month.
No intercourse or tampons for 6 weeks.
You may start showering 24-36 hrs after surgery.  Avoid water stream directly on incision.  You may sponge bathe.  Do not submerge in a tub bath for 3-4 weeks.
You may start driving about 5-10 days after surgery.  Do no drive if you are still on narcotic pain medication or have limited mobility.
Your return to work will be dependent on your job requirements.

 

Medications

Take antibiotics as per prescription.
Use prescription pain medication as needed.
Take a stool softener (obtain over the counter at local pharmacy) starting the night of your surgery.  Stop taking stool softeners once having soft bowel movements.  Do not take stool softeners if diarrhea occurs.
If you have not had a bowel movement by the 3rd day after your surgery, take a laxative (obtain at your local pharmacy over the counter).
You may begin your regular medications when you leave the hospital unless instructed otherwise.
If you take bloodthinners (ASA, plavix, warfarin), your doctor will advise when you can start them again.

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