Outcomes of Iatrogenic Genitourinary Injuries during Colorectal Surgery

Jairam R. Eswara, Valary T. Raup, Aaron M. Potretzke, Steven R. Hunt, Steven B. Brandes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective To describe, categorize, and determine the outcomes of repairs of genitourinary (GU) injuries that occur during colorectal surgery. Presently, little is known regarding these injuries or the long-term outcomes of their repair. Methods We performed a retrospective review of patients undergoing colorectal surgery between 2003 and 2013 who experienced iatrogenic GU injuries requiring surgical repair. GU repair failures were defined as development of urine leak, urinary fistula, or anastomotic stricture requiring secondary GU intervention. Possible risk factors associated with repair failures were examined and included age, American Society of Anesthesiology score, comorbidities, type of colorectal surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Results Of 42,570 colorectal surgeries performed, 75 GU injuries were identified (0.18%). Mean age was 57.5 years (range, 22-91), and median follow-up was 19.5 months (range, 1-128). Fifty-nine (59/75, 79%) patients required a single GU repair whereas 16 of 75 (21%) patients experienced repair failure requiring additional GU intervention. The most common GU injuries were cystotomy (26/75, 35%), incomplete ureteral transection (22/75, 29%), complete proximal and distal ureteral injuries (13/75, 17%; 11/75, 15%), urethral injury (2/75, 3%), and injury to a pre-existing ileal conduit (1/75, 1). Twenty-seven patients (36%) had prior radiation and 35 patients (47%) had prior chemotherapy. Preoperative radiation and chemotherapy were both associated with failure of the GU repair (P =.003; P =.013). Delayed repair of the GU injury was also associated with repair failure (P =.001). Conclusion Iatrogenic GU injuries during colorectal surgery are rare, affecting only 0.18% of colorectal procedures. Preoperative external beam radiation therapy/chemotherapy and delayed GU repair are associated with worse outcomes of repairs of these injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1228-1234
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


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