Skip to main content

Table 2 Categorisation, causes and mechanisms of urinary vaginal fistulas

From: Elucidating vaginal fistulas on CT and MRI





Surgical injury

Intraoperative injury to the distal ureter Risk further increased by parametrial and nodal dissection

Often via formation of urinoma that drains into the vaginal vault

  - Most frequent (75% of cases): total abdominal or radical hysterectomy

  - Less common procedures: laparoscopic treatment of endometriosis, surgery for ovarian cancer, complex urological or lower gastrointestinal pelvic surgeries

Vesicovaginal + urethrovaginal

Surgical injury

Intraoperative injury to urinary bladder Often with formation of urinoma that drains into the vaginal vault Sometimes via necrosis of vaginal vault from incorrectly placed sutures between the vaginal cuff and posterior aspect of bladder

  - Same interventions as above plus

  - Emergency caesarean section

  - Anti-incontinence procedures, cystocele repair, resection of urethral diverticulum

Locally advanced malignancies

Rare, e.g. uterine cervix carcinomas, urethral/bladder transitional carcinomas

Past irradiation such as for uterine cervix carcinoma

Delayed onset (years after treatment) Increasingly uncommon

Perineal laceration

From direct trauma (most usually sexual violence)

Obstetric complication (spontaneous or instrumental delivery)

Historical, still today in developing countries lacking obstetric practices Via pressure necrosis of the anterior vaginal wall and bladder neck, compressed between the foetal head and the symphysis pubis