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What is a Fistula?

The term fistula describes an abnormal connection between two parts of the body. For example, a fistula may occur between an organ and another body part.

Fistual 3D Diagram

There are several types of fistulas:

There are various possible locations of a fistula on the body. Some common fistula locations include:

It is also possible to have an anal fistula, which develops when the anus has an abnormal connection with another organ.

Another type of fistula, called a gastrointestinal fistula, is located in the digestive tract. This type of fistula may develop between one part of an intestine and another.

Applicable Procedures


There are several causes of a fistula. For instance, injuries and surgery are potential causes. Other fistula causes include infections and inflammation. Fistulas can develop between arteries and veins as a result of an injury, whereas inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis, can cause the development of fistulas between intestinal loops. An anal fistula can sometimes be congenital, meaning that it is present from the time a person is born. It occurs when an abnormal connection develops between the anus and another organ.

Treatment for a fistula begins with a diagnosis. A doctor may diagnose a fistula by running blood tests, taking x-rays, or performing an endoscopy or CT scan. Fistula treatments will vary based upon the type and location of the fistula, and in some cases, a fistula may resolve on its own. Fistula treatments may involve managing infection, replenishing fluids, and correcting electrolyte imbalances. In some cases, a fistula may require surgery.

If you think you may be suffering from a fistula, it is important to see a doctor to prevent complications. A medical professional can determine the best fistula treatment for your situation.

Common Symptoms

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