Fistulas are unnatural connections or holes between unrelated organs or bodily vessels. Fistulas can form in various parts of the body and for many reasons. This variety gives rise to a number of distinct kinds of fistulas, including the following commonly-seen items.
Complete fistula: These fistulas form a complete connection between two organs.
Recto-vaginal fistula: This is a connection between the vagina and the rectum. Recto-vaginal fistulas fall under the definition of complete fistulas.
Metroperitoneal fistulas: These are connections between the uterus and peritoneal cavity.
Vesicovaginal fistulas: This variety of fistula is a hole between the vagina and the urinary bladder.
Signs of Genitourinary Injury
While some genitourinary fistulas make themselves known, other varieties progress more slowly. People who suffer from acute cases may notice the onset of sudden incontinence. This comes about due to damage to the urinary bladder, urethra, or ureters. In addition, acute cases are often accompanied by discolored urine. For example, bleeding fistulas often cause hematuria, which is bloody urine.
Cases caused by infectious agents like bacteria or viruses may progress more slowly but can be just as damaging as acute examples. As such, people who suffer from urinary tract infections may be at heightened risk of developing consequent fistulas.
In addition to these signs, other symptoms of genitourinary fistula include:
Passage of pus or stool from the vagina
Unexplained weight loss
Genitourinary Fistula Treatments
Urogenital medical specialists make every effort to promptly treat the symptoms and underlying causes of this condition. Early detection and treatment can be key factors in promoting proper patient recoveries. Diagnostic technologies that include computed tomography (CT) scans and specialized x-ray studies can augment physical examinations by pinpointing damaged tissues.
Serious and acute cases may warrant emergency procedures that are designed to mitigate the most extreme symptoms. Following short-term injury management and diagnosis efforts, doctors then pursue longer-term interventions that are designed to repair or reconstruct underlying injuries. These measures may include surgery and medications.
Common corrective surgeries for serious fistulas include: