Predictors of Recurrence and Successful Treatment Following Obstetric Fistula Surgery

Matthieu Loposso, Lukman Hakim, Jean Ndundu, Simon Lufuma, Augustin Punga, Dirk De Ridder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To determine factors contributing to recurrence and successful treatment of obstetric fistula (OF). Materials and Methods Data were collected from OF patients in Saint Luc Hospital Kisantu (DR of Congo) between 2007 and 2013. Patients underwent surgical treatment and were evaluated after a follow-up period of 3 months. Successful treatment was defined as no or dry pads whereas recurrence was defined as the persisting need for wearing incontinence pads immediately after the surgery or after a period of dryness. Fistula classification was done according to Waaldijk. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using logistic regression, corrected for preoperative and intraoperative OF characteristics. Results Median age of 166 OF patients was 29.11 ± 9. 6 years (range 5-61). The majority of OF was type I (57.2%) followed by type III (20.5 %). There were 20.5% who showed vaginal fibrosis during surgical treatment. The most common location of fistula was pericervical (39.8%). The global recurrence rate at 3 months was 28.3%, with type IIBb (100%) as most the common recurring, followed by IIAb (66.67%) and IIAa (41.18%). There were 71.7%, 15.7%, 12%, and 0.6% patients who were considered completely cured, partially cured (downstaged), persistent, and upstaged, respectively. OF patients with fibrosis were 68% less likely (odds ratio 0.32, 95% confidence interval 0.14-0.73; P = .0065) to be dry in comparison to those without fibrosis. Patients with urethral fistula were 73% less likely (odds ratio 0.27, 95% confidence interval 0.11-0.63; P = .0024) to be dry compared to other locations. Conclusion This study showed that fibrosis and urethral location are independent risk factors for fistula recurrence or persistence following surgical fistula repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-85
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


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