Urinary & Rectal Fistulas

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A fistula is an abnormal connection between organs that usually are not connected such as the bladder and vagina caused by tissue damage and inflammation.

Urogenital Fistulas — Dr. Rose Khavari

Rose Khavari, MD, a Houston Methodist urologist, explains what urogenital fistulas are, their symptoms and how they are diagnosed and treated.

Causes of Urinary and Rectal Fistulas

  • Childbirth:
    • Caesarean section
    • Episiotomy – a surgical cut at the opening of the vagina during vaginal childbirth
  • Surgery in the pelvis, vagina or rectum
  • Cervical or colon cancer
  • Radiation therapy
  • Inflammatory bowel conditions:
    • Crohn's disease
    • Diverticulitis

Types of Fistulas

  • Vesicovaginal – between the bladder and vagina
  • Vesicouterine – between the bladder and uterus
  • Urethrovaginal – between the urethra and vagina
  • Ureterovaginal – between the ureter and vagina
  • Colovesical – between the colon and bladder
  • Rectovaginal – between the rectum and vagina

Urinary and Rectal Fistula Symptoms

  • Constant urine leakage from the vagina
  • Irritation near the vulva
  • Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Gas from the vagina
  • Stool leakage from the vagina
  • Fluid drainage from the vagina
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Diagnosing Urinary and Rectal Fistulas

Treating Urinary and Rectal Fistulas

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