Fistula are abnormal connections between two body parts, such as a blood vessel and an organ. Injuries or surgery often lead to fistula. Fistula may also form as a result of inflammation or infection.


Childbirth and obstructed labor are the most common causes of fistulas in Africa.  In the United States, complicated births are less likely to lead to fistulas, but other causes can also lead to this condition. Fistula formation is well known to occur in patients who have Crohn’s disease or diverticular disease. Additionally, radiation therapy patients have a greater chance of developing a variety of fistulas.


Diagnosis and Treatment


Patients should seek the advice of a gynecologist, urogynecologist, or colorectal surgeon for the repair of fistulas. Based on the location, size, and condition of the fistula, the medical professional will determine the best course of treatment. Caths may be one option to control symptoms. Surgery may be necessary if the fistula is severe.

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