Management and Outcomes of Ileal Pouch-Urethral Fistulas

Published:December 04, 2022DOI:


      To describe a single-center experience with the management of ileal pouch-urethral fistulas (IPUF) following restorative proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA).


      We retrospectively identified patients with documented IPUF managed at our institution from a urethral fistula cohort and analyzed their cases.


      Thirteen patients who underwent surgeries for IPUF management from 2005-2022 were identified. Median age at IPAA was 29 years (range 11-53). Indications for IPAA included familial adenomatous polyposis (n=3) and ulcerative colitis (n=10). Median time from IPAA to fistula diagnosis was 15 years (range 0.5-38.5). Eleven patients were initially diverted with either loop (n=8) or end ileostomy (n=3). Overall, two patients had resolution of IPUF symptoms with a loop ileostomy alone and eight eventually underwent pouch excision with end ileostomy, one of which subsequently underwent redo IPAA. Seven patients were managed with primary closure of the urethral defect at the time of pouch excision, five of which also underwent gracilis muscle interposition. With a median follow-up of 4 years (range 0.3-13 years), all patients had resolution of their fistulae without any recurrences.


      IPUFs are a rare complication after IPAA. In this cohort, all patients had their urinary tract preserved, but most ultimately had permanent fecal diversion. These results can help guide management of this complex issue.
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