Genitourinary Fistula Experience in Sierra Leone: Review of 505 Cases

Alyona Lewis, Melissa R. Kaufman, Christopher E. Wolter, Sharon E. Phillips, Darius Maggi, Leesa Condry, Roger R. Dmochowski, Joseph A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose: We reviewed cases of genitourinary fistula resulting from birth trauma in Sierra Leone to determine factors predictive of successful operative repair. Materials and Methods: A total of 505 operative repairs of genitourinary fistula were completed at 2 centers in Sierra Leone from 2004 to 2006. Statistical analysis of patient demographics, fistula characteristics, outcomes and surgical complications was performed. Results: Primary repairs, defined as the first repair, accounted for 68% of repairs in the population with 92% classified as vesicovaginal fistula alone. Only 56% of women were deemed to have an intact urethra at presentation and 68% were diagnosed with moderate or severe fibrosis surrounding the fistula. On univariate analysis parameters that demonstrated significant differences with primary operative success were patient age at fistula occurrence (p = 0.0192), index pregnancy (p = 0.0061), location (p <0.0001), surface area (p <0.0001), urethral status (p <0.0001) and fibrosis (p <0.0001). On multivariate analysis the fistula parameter that correlated with successful repair was the extent of fibrosis (severe fibrosis OR 3.7). Conclusions: Genitourinary fistula as a result of prolonged obstructed labor is a cause of considerable morbidity in sub-Saharan Africa, including Sierra Leone. The most profound factor correlating with a positive operative outcome was the extent of fibrosis surrounding the fistula. These data are important to help predict the likelihood of successful repair and assist in selecting women for the appropriate surgical procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1725-1731
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Sierra Leone
  • labor
  • obstetric
  • urethra
  • urinary bladder
  • vesicovaginal fistula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Genitourinary Fistula Experience in Sierra Leone: Review of 505 Cases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this