The cost effectiveness of vaginal versus abdominal repair of vesicovaginal fistulae.

The objective was to assess the comparative provider costs of vaginal and open abdominal repair of vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) and to determine the most cost-effective means of managing VVF.

A prospectively acquired database of all women undergoing VVF repair by a single surgeon between 2007 and 2015 was retrospectively reviewed to determine operating time, perioperative complications, inpatient stay and 30-day readmissions. The success and cost of the VVF repair were identified. Statistical analysis was by unpaired t test, Chi-squared test and Mann-Whitney U test.

Forty-seven consecutive women of mean age 51 years (range 21-88) undergoing a first attempt at VVF repair at our institution were included; 32(68%) had vaginal repair with Martius fat pad interposition and 15 (32%) had open abdominal repair with omental interposition. There were no perioperative complications or 30-day readmissions in either group. Mean operative time was longer for open abdominal (223.4 min) than vaginal repair (196.9 min). Median inpatient stay was longer for an open abdominal (8 days) than for a vaginal approach (4 days). Successful anatomical closure was achieved in 91% of vaginal and 86% of open abdominal repairs at first attempt, and in 100% after second repair, where required. Mean/median costs for an abdominal repair were significantly higher, at £4,608.69/£4,169.20 than for vaginal repair at £3,381.50/£3,009.24 (P<0.05).

Vesicovaginal fistulae were successfully repaired in 89% of cases at first attempt. The success rate did not differ between approaches. Vaginal repair is significantly more cost-effective than abdominal repair owing to the shorter operative time and length of stay.

International urogynecology journal. 2019 Jul 18 [Epub ahead of print]

Ross Warner, Alice Beardmore-Gray, Mahreen Pakzad, Rizwan Hamid, Jeremy Ockrim, Tamsin Greenwell

Department of Urology, University College London Hospital at Westmoreland Street, 16-18 Westmoreland Street, London, W1G 9PH, UK., Department of Urology, University College London Hospital at Westmoreland Street, 16-18 Westmoreland Street, London, W1G 9PH, UK. .

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