Integrated Care for Vaginal, Urinary and Anal Fistulas
Fistulas are abnormal connections that form between an organ, vessel, or intestine and another part of your body. They can develop in several places such as between an intestine and the skin, between the vagina and the rectum, and other places.
A fistula can cause urine and stool to leak, having a significant impact on health and quality of life. While they sometimes close on their own, they often require treatment.
Some common types of fistulas include:
Fistulas can form in many places within your body. Some of the most common types include the following:
Anal and gastrointestinal: These create openings that allow the contents of the stomach or intestines to leak into another part of the intestines or an opening in the skin. They are often caused by inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
Vaginal and rectovaginal: They develop between the vagina and the bladder, colon, or rectum, leading to urine or stool passing through the vagina. They are caused by surgical complications following a hysterectomy, traumatic childbirth, pelvic abscess, or other pelvic inflammatory conditions.
Arteriovenous (AV): Form between arteries and veins in your legs, arms, lungs, kidneys, or brain. They are caused by injuries that pierce the skin, cardiac catheterization, genetic conditions, and congenital defects.
What are the symptoms of fistulas?
Depending on the type of fistula, here are some signs and symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Abdominal pain.
- Irritation in the external female genital organs.
- Incontinence (both urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence).
- Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Leakage of gas and/or feces into the vagina.
What are the causes of fistulas?
The most common cause is childbirth and obstructed labor that is left unrelieved.
Other causes include the following:
- Bowel cancer.
- Gynecologic cancers.
- Radiation therapy.
- Leakage of gas and/or feces into the vagina.
- Fluid drainage from the vagina.
Comprehensive Care at KLASS
For fistula repair, patients seek expert advice from gynecologists, urogynecologists, or colorectal surgeons. Fistula treatment options depend on the type, size, and location of your fistula. Your fistula specialist in Nairobi at Kenya Laparoscopic Surgery Services will discuss some of the following options with you:
- Monitoring: If you have a small fistula that does not cause any symptoms, your doctor might recommend close monitoring. Some fistulas close without treatment.
- Ultrasound-guided compression: This procedure is done with AV fistulas that are visible in your legs. An ultrasound probe compresses the fistula and blocks blood flow to damaged blood vessels.
- Non-invasive treatment includes: Fibrin glue, a specific medicinal adhesive used to seal fistulas, and catheters; used to drain fistulas, catheters are usually employed on small fistulas to manage the infection.
There are a number of different minimally invasive and open surgical options for repairing fistulas.
The goal for the surgery is to safely repair the fistula and alleviate your symptoms, while also focusing on restoring your quality of life.
- Transabdominal surgery: The fistula is accessed through an abdominal wall incision.
- Fistulotomy: This treatment is very effective in treating anal fistulas. Your surgeon will open the fistula and remove the infected tissue, allowing it to drain and heal. The tissue is then stitched in place.
- Reconstructive surgery: Larger vaginal and urinary fistulas may require extensive pelvic surgery and reconstruction to close the fistula and restore proper function to the affected organs.
- Minimally invasive surgery: Small vaginal fistulas may be effectively repaired with minimally invasive vaginal surgery, closing the abnormal connection, and restoring proper function using laparoscopy.
Why Choose KLASS for Fistula Care?
Laparoscopic surgeons in Kenya at KLASS provide truly integrated clinical care for vaginal, urinary, and anal fistulas.
Being specialists in gynecology, reconstructive surgery, gynecologic oncology, gynecologic surgery, general surgery, bariatric surgery, and others to provide men and women with advanced care in a compassionate environment.
The team is widely acclaimed for its success in treating vaginal, urinary, and anal fistulas, offering the latest in medical and surgical treatment.
KLASS is a medical center in Kenya offering minimally invasive pelvic surgery to treat vaginal, urinary, and anal fistulas, incontinence, and other general and gynecologic conditions.
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