Fistulas of the Urinary Tract

A fistula is an abnormal passageway between two areas that normally don’t connect. They can occur in the urinary tract as a result of inflammatory bowel disease, trauma, prior surgery, prior radiation treatment, or cancer. Fistulas in the urinary tract often involve the bladder but can also involve the ureters or urethra. The more common types of fistulas abnormally connect the bowel to the bladder or the bladder to the vagina leading to recurrent urine infections, urinary incontinence, or loss of urine from the rectum. Treatment of a fistula usually requires carefully planned surgery to correct the anatomical problem while preserving normal urinary function.