A scoping review of tissue interposition flaps used in vesicovaginal fistulae repair

Serinçay H., Güler H. U., ULUBAYRAM K., MANGIR BOLAT N.

Therapeutic Advances in Urology, vol.15, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/17562872231182217
  • Journal Name: Therapeutic Advances in Urology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: autologous interposition flaps, synthetic tissue interposition flaps, urinary incontinence, vesicovaginal fistulae
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Research on the use of tissue interposition flaps (TIFs) in vesicovaginal fistulae (VVF) repair is a broad area where a very wide range of natural and synthetic materials have been used. The occurrence of VVF is also diverse in the social and clinical settings, resulting in a parallel heterogeneity in the published literature on its treatment. The use of synthetic and autologous TIFs in VVF repair is not yet standardized with a lack of the most efficacious type and technique of the TIF. Objectives: The aim of this study was to systematically review all synthetic and autologous TIFs used in the surgical repair of VVFs. Data sources and methods: In this scoping review, the surgical outcomes of autologous and synthetic interposition flaps used in VVF treatment meeting the inclusion criteria were determined. We searched the literature using Ovid MEDLINE and PubMed databases between 1974 and 2022. Study characteristics were recorded, and data on the change in fistulae size and location, surgical approach, success rate, preoperative patient evaluation and outcome evaluation were extracted from each study independently by two authors. Results: A total of 25 articles that met the inclusion criteria were included in the final analysis. A total of 943 and 127 patients who had received autologous and synthetic flaps, respectively, were included in this scoping review. The fistulae characteristics were highly variable with regard to their size, complexity, aetiology, location and radiation. Outcome assessments of fistulae repair in included studies were mostly based on symptom evaluation. Physical examination, cystogram and methylene blue test were the methods in order of preference. Postoperative complications, such as infection, bleeding, donor site, pain, voiding dysfunction and other complications, were reported in patients after fistulae repair in all included studies. Conclusion: The use of TIFs in VVF repair was common especially in complex and large fistulae. Autologous TIFs appear to be the standard of care at the moment, and synthetic TIFs were investigated in prospective clinical trials in a limited number of selected cases. Evidence levels of clinical studies evaluating the effectiveness of interposition flaps were overall low.