Management of the Bladder During Surgical Treatment of Enterovesical Fistulas from Benign Bowel Disease

Genoa G. Ferguson, Eugene W. Lee, Steven R. Hunt, Clare H. Ridley, Steven B. Brandes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background: Management of the bladder in enterovesical fistulas from benign bowel disease is not well described in the literature and there is no clear consensus. Study Design: A retrospective chart review was done of all patients with benign bowel disease and an enterovesical fistula who underwent definitive surgical management between January 1993 and December 2005. Patients were excluded if they had any history of abdominal cancer or pelvic radiation. Surgical management protocol for enterovesical fistulas included a period of perioperative bowel rest, surgical exploration, separation of the fistulized bowel from the bladder, resection of the diseased bowel segment, and Foley catheter placement for 1 week. Results: Seventy-four patients were eligible for the study. The average patient age was 54.3 years (range 19 to 88 years old). Twenty-six women and 48 men underwent celiotomy and segmental resection of the offending bowel and bowel side of the fistula. The bladder side of the fistula was managed by Foley catheter alone in 68% and by surgical repair in 32%. Fifty-two patients had diverticulitis (70.3%) and 22 had Crohn's disease (29.7%). Mean followup was 26.4 months, and median followup was 6.45 months. One patient developed a colocutaneous and vesicocutaneous fistula after celiotomy. The remaining bladder defects healed within 1 week. Conclusions: Successful surgical management of most enterovesical fistulas from diverticulitis or Crohn's disease requires only resection of the diseased bowel, with minimal need for repair or resection of the bladder side of the fistula. Indwelling Foley catheter placement alone is typically sufficient for bladder healing. Only when there are overt defects into the bladder should formal repair be undertaken.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-572
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008


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