Fistula Treatment

Two common types of fistula are vesicovaginal fistula and rectovaginal fistula. A vesicovaginal fistula is an abnormal connection between the bladder and the vagina. There are various causes for a fistula of this type. They may include the body's reaction to:

  • Cancer or radiation treatment
  • Recent pelvic surgery of various kinds
  • Other conditions

A rectovaginal fistula is an abnormal connection between the rectum and the vagina. It can occur after childbirth, surgery, and radiation treatment.

Symptoms of fistula

  • Abnormal urine stream
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Pain
  • Urine, feces, or gas coming out of the vagina

Surgery for fistula

We treat a fistula using vaginal, laparoscopic, or abdominal surgery:

  • Laparoscopic surgery involves inserting very narrow instruments through small incisions in your abdomen.
  • Surgery for a complex fistula is often performed through the abdomen.
  • Surgery may be in conjunction with a urologist or colorectal surgeon.

After surgery

After your vesicovaginal fistula procedure your care may include:

  • A catheter for about 2 weeks after the procedure. A catheter is a tube placed through the urethra into the bladder to help you urinate.
  • A recommendation from your provider to refrain from sexual intercourse for about 6 weeks.