Fistulas can develop in your bladder and rectum. These abnormal connections link together organs that don’t usually connect, interfering with your comfort and pelvic organ function. Expert urogynecologist Fareesa G. Khan, MD, of the Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery in St. Louis offers surgical repair to halt the uncomfortable symptoms associated with fistulas. Call the office or schedule an appointment using the online tool to learn more about fistula repair.
If you have a hole in your bladder that opens into your vagina or bowel, it’s known as a bladder fistula. This complication is relatively uncommon and develops after surgery or an infection.
Fistulas are linked to certain cancers, as well as the radiation treatments for these cancers.
Symptoms of a bladder fistula include frequent urinary tract infections or one that is particularly complex to treat. Urine that smells like fecal matter is another sign that you have a fistula. You may also have fecal matter in your urine. A bladder fistula can cause you to release gas while you urinate.
Dr. Khan performs surgery to repair your bladder fistula and prevent the cross-contamination that can occur. She places healthy tissue over the opening to close the abnormal connection and restore normal function to your bladder.
Most rectal fistulas result after an infection in one of the glands that line your anus. The infection expands, forming a pus-filled abscess and a fistula attaching the gland to the abscess. A fistula can develop without the presence of an abscess, connecting the gland directly to your skin.
Symptoms of a rectal fistula include:
If you have symptoms that suggest you have a rectal fissure, consult with Dr. Khan for confirmation and treatment.
Dr. Khan first drains any abscess associated with the rectal fistula. This relieves some pain and helps her better evaluate the irregularity. The fistula is usually removed in a surgery called a fistulotomy.
Without treatment, fistulas can cause long-term harm to your body. They can result in nerve damage, infection, and kidney failure.
Surgeries to repair fistulas are usually performed laparoscopically, so you recover quickly and have little chance of infection.
To learn more about your options for fistula repair, call the Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery or schedule a consultation using the online tool today.