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Vesico-vaginal fistula presenting as overactive bladder in a case of Gellhorn pessary for vault prolapse
  1. Mamta Bhat1,
  2. Santanu Acharya2 and
  3. Wael Agur3
  1. 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital Crosshouse, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Ayr, UK
  2. 2Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University Hospital Crosshouse, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, Kilmarnock, UK
  3. 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital Crosshouse, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Kilmarnock, South Ayrshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mamta Bhat; mamtabhat78{at}


An 81-year-old woman with early dementia was on a regular follow-up for change of Gellhorn pessary every 6 months for vault prolapse. She presented with frequency and urgency for 10 months duration 5 years into conservative management. Her symptoms did not improve on anticholinergics and lifestyle modifications. She underwent an opportunistic change of pessary under general anaesthesia coincidental to scalp wound debridement. On removal of the pessary, a gush of urine was noted followed by confirmation of a large vesico-vaginal fistula (VVF). In the initial period of follow-up, she was reviewed by the urogynaecology team and considered to be a poor surgical candidate for a major surgical procedure and was offered conservative measures with incontinence pads and possible indwelling catheter. Serious complications like fistulae can still occur despite well-managed pessary treatment. Earlier presentation with overactive bladder symptoms masked the VVF resulting in delayed diagnosis.

  • obstetrics
  • gynaecology and fertility
  • urinary and genital tract disorders
  • long-term care

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  • Contributors MB was involved in managing patient, planning, data acquisition and write-up. SA was involved in managing patient, conception and design and edit the write-up. WA performed analysis of data and write-up.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.