What is urogenital fistula?
Abnormal connection between bladder, the female genital tract and the bladder, urethra, or ureters is known as a urogenital fistula.There are two common types of urogenital fistulas
- Vesicovaginal fistula- vaginal fistula opening in urinary tract
- Ureterovaginal fistulas- vaginal fistula opening in ureter
Vesicovaginal fistula is about three times more common than ureterovaginal fistulas, however, in extremely rare conditions these two can occur simultaneously.
A fistula starts with any kind of damage to the tissue and then opens up. Various causes for this can be:
- surgery of vagina, anus or rectum
- inflammatory bowel disease
- treatment for pelvic cancer
- infected episiotomy
- urinary incontinence- inability to control urination
- overflow incontinence
- infected or sore genital area
- foul-smelling discharge from vagina
- foul-smelling gas from vagina
- physical examination of the pelvic region
- dye-test -A dye is injected into the bladder, and its path is traced using imaging techniques
- blood test
- urine analysis
It is usually treated with surgery but before that certain treatments may be done so that the surgery is possible-
- Medicine to heal the tissue
- Colostomy to keep the fistula clear
It is necessary to take full care after surgery and see the doctor if there are any post-surgery rashes, tenderness, swelling or fever.
- After surgery, the patient will be asked to urinate to test the response of the bladder and urethra to the surgery.
- An overnight stay is rarely needed after a laparoscopic surgery. However, in case of open surgery, the recovery period is longer.
- There might be mild pain in the abdomen after the surgery, which is normal
- The doctor should be reported to periodically after the surgery, to check for proper functioning of the bladder
- Any bleeding or abnormal discharge from the vagina should be immediately reported to the doctor