Experiences of Rectovaginal Fistula in Anorectal Malformation



      Rectovaginal fistulas (RVFs) are very rare malformations in females with anorectal malformations (ARMs). Here, we share the clinical features of RVF and report the long-term outcomes.


      RVF patients were classified using a retrospective analysis of ARM patients who underwent operations at Seoul National University Hospital between January 1999 and May 2017. The Krickenbeck continence scoring system was used to evaluate bowel function 5 and 10 years after surgery.


      Of the total 460 ARM patients, 203 were female, 7 of whom were diagnosed with RVF. The median age and weight at the time of anorectoplasty were 292 days (range, 140–617) and 8.2 kg (range, 5.5–12), respectively. Six patients had associated anomalies and three patients underwent redo-anorectoplasty. Voluntary bowel movements were observed in 6 out of 7 patients at 5 and 10 years of age. Soiling was observed in all patients at the age of five years and in 6 out of 7 patients at the age of ten years. Constipation was observed in 6 out of 7 patients at both five and ten years of age.


      An RVF is a very rare malformation, accounting for 1.5% of total ARMs and 3.4% of ARMs in females. Long-term counseling, education, and guidance are needed for effective management of patients' bowel movements.

      Type of study

      Prognosis study

      Level of evidence

      Level IV


      RVF (rectovaginal fistula), ARM (anorectal malformation), VBM (voluntary bowel movement,), PSARP (posterior sagittal anorectalplasty)

      Key words

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