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Minerva Chirurgica 2004 June;59(3):301-6


language: English

Laparoscopic treatment of post-hysterectomy colovaginal fistula in diverticular disease. Case report

Finco C., Sarzo G., Parise P., Savastano S., De Lazzari F., Polato F., Merigliano S.


Colonic diverticular disease is a benign condition typical of the Western world, but it is not rare for even the 1st episode of diverticulitis to carry potentially fatal complications. The evolution of a peridiverticular process generally poses problems for medical treatment and exposes patients to repeated episodes of diverticulitis, making surgical treatment necessary in approximately 30% of symptomatic patients. One of the most worrying complications of diverticulosis is internal fistula. The most common types of fistula are colovesical and colovaginal, against which the uterus can act as an important protective factor. The symptoms and the clinical and instrumental management of patients with diverticular fistulas are much the same as for patients with episodes of acute diverticulitis. Staging of the disease (according to Hinchey) should be done promptly so that the necessary action can be taken prior to surgery, implementing total parenteral nutrition (TPN), nasogastric aspiration and broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment. The best surgical approach to adopt in patients with diverticulitis complicated by fistula is still not entirely clear, though the 3-step strategy is currently tending to be abandoned due to its high morbidity and mortality rates. There is a widespread conviction, however, that the 2-step strategy (Hartmann, or resection with protective stomy) and the 1-step alternative should be reserved, respectively, for patients in Hinchey stages 3, 4 and 1, 2 with a situation of attenuated local inflammation. The 1-step approach seems to be safe and effective. This report describes a case of colovaginal fistula in a patient with colonic diverticulosis who had recently undergone hysterectomy, but who, unlike such cases in the past, was treated in a single step using a laparoscopic technique.

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