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
- 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 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.