OBJECTIVE: Recto-urethral fistula formation following radical prostatectomy is an uncommon but potentially devastating event. There is no consensus in the literature regarding the treatment of these fistulas. We present here our experiences treating recto-urethral fistulas. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We analyzed 8 cases of rectourethral fistula treated at our institution in the last seven years. Seven of the patients underwent repair of the fistula using the modified York-Mason procedure. RESULTS: The causes of the fistula were radical retropubic prostatectomy in five patients, perineal debridement of Fournier's gangrene in one, transvesical prostatectomy in one and transurethral resection of the prostate in the other patient. The most common clinical manifestation was fecaluria, present in 87.5% of the cases. The mean time elapsed between diagnosis and correction of the fistula was 29.6 (7-63) months. One spontaneous closure occurred after five months of delayed catheterization. Urinary and retrograde urethrocystography indicated the site of the fistula in 71.4% of the cases. No patient presented recurrence of the fistula after its correction with the modified York-Mason procedure. CONCLUSION: The performance of routine colostomy and cystostomy is unnecessary. The technique described by York-Mason permits easy access, reduces surgical and hospitalization times and presents low complication and morbidity rates when surgically correcting recto-urethral fistulas.
Fistula; Prostate; Urological surgical procedures; Diagnostic surgical techniques