Osterberg EC, Vanni AJ, Gaither TW, Awad MA, Broghammer JA, Pate SC, Wyre H, Myers JB, Elliott SP, Krishna S, Zhao LC, McClung C, Erickson BA, Breyer BN.

World J Urol. 2016 Dec 7.

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To characterize anterior urinary fistula following radiotherapy for prostate cancer.


Over 10 years, 31 men were identified to have an anterior urinary fistula. A retrospective database was created to evaluate patient demographics, presentation, diagnostic procedures, operative interventions, outcomes, and complications. Comparisons between men who underwent cystectomy versus bladder-sparing surgeries were performed.


At a median age of 73 (interquartile range (IQR) 68.5, 79) years, presenting symptoms included as follows: pubic pain (19/31, 61%), urine drainage via fistula (10/31, 32%), or a superficial wound infection (6/31, 19%). Recent instrumentation prior to diagnosis of anterior urinary fistula was reported by 18/31 (58%) at a median of 14.9 months (IQR 7.9, 103.8) after manipulation. Anterior fistula formation was either isolated to the pubic symphysis (19/31, 61%) or the thigh (12/31, 38%). Nineteen men underwent a cystectomy, whereas 12 men underwent a fistula repair. Excluding grades 1 and 2, 30- and 90-day postoperative complications were limited to four and two men, respectively, all of whom had a grade 3 complication. At 6-month follow-up, 26/31 (84%) men reported their pain had resolved. There was one fistula recurrence managed with subsequent cystectomy.


Complex anterior urinary fistula to the pubic symphysis and thigh are devastating yet treatable conditions. Universally, these men have a history of radiotherapy and repeated endoscopic interventions. Surgical intervention with either cystectomy or primary repair was highly successful.


Bladder neck contracture; Complication; Radiation; Radiotherapy; Urinary fistula