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(fĭs`cho͝olə), abnormal, usually ulcerous channellike formation between two internal organs or between an internal organ and the skin. It may follow a surgical procedure with improper healing, or it may be caused by injury, abscess, or infection with penetration deep enough to reach another organ or the skin. When open at only one end it is called an incomplete fistula or sinus. The most common sites of fistula are the rectum and the urinary organs, but almost any part of the body may be affected. Rectal fistulas are often associated with colitis, cancercancer,
in medicine, common term for neoplasms, or tumors, that are malignant. Like benign tumors, malignant tumors do not respond to body mechanisms that limit cell growth.
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, sexually transmitted diseasessexually transmitted disease
(STD) or venereal disease,
term for infections acquired mainly through sexual contact. Five diseases were traditionally known as venereal diseases: gonorrhea, syphilis, and the less common granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma venereum, and
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, and other disorders. Usually a fistula requires surgery. In horses an abscess on the withers from chafing and infection is termed a fistula.



an abnormal passage between hollow organs or between an organ, body cavity, or focus of disease and the body surface. Usually in the form of a narrow canal lined with epithelium or granulations, it continuously discharges pus, mucus, bile, urine, or feces.

Congenital fistulas, for example, umbilical fistulas, are developmental anomalies. Acquired fistulas result from such chronic inflammations as osteomyelitis, from tumors, or from injuries. Fistulas are usually treated by surgery.

It is sometimes necessary to create artificial fistulas surgically. They may connect hollow organs, in which case they are called internal fistulas, or anastomoses. An example is gastroenteroanastomosis in cicatricial stenosis of the outlet of the stomach.

Gastrostomy is the establishment of an external fistula, or stoma, for artificial feeding. External fistulas also permit the discharge of urine or feces. For example, cystostoma is a fistula of the urinary bladder formed when the urethra is compressed by a tumor. With external fistulas, care must be taken to avoid irritating or infecting the surrounding skin.


Struchkov, V. I. Gnoinaia khirurgiia, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1967.


An abnormal congenital or acquired communication between two surfaces or between a viscus or other hollow structure and the exterior.


In ancient Roman construction, a water pipe of lead or earthenware.


Pathol an abnormal opening between one hollow organ and another or between a hollow organ and the surface of the skin, caused by ulceration, congenital malformation, etc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Victims of obstetric fistula are usually among the hardest to reach, and are often illiterate and with limited access to health services, including maternal and reproductive health care, she added.
The UN describes obstetric fistula as one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during childbirth.
Demographic and medical profiles of patients with obstetric fistula in Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya.
The Hamlins had never seen an obstetric fistula case before and there was little or no treatment available in Ethiopia.
Similar to a systematic narrative review approach, we undertook a close reading of the abstract, article, and selected references, keeping careful note of the themes and meta-narrative (17) around (1) the causes of obstetric fistula; (2) the extent to which it is deemed a problem in the sub-Saharan Africa; (3) methods to prevent obstetric fistula; and (4) interventions and treatments around those with obstetric fistula.
The role of counseling for obstetric fistula patients: Lessons learned from Eritrea.
The report places particular emphasis on girls 14 and younger who are at double the risk of maternal death and obstetric fistula.
This facility delivers on this commitment by offering treatment for obstetric fistula, a debilitating condition resulting from childbirth complications.
Abstract: Obstetric fistula is a complication of pregnancy that affects women following prolonged obstructed labour.
Obstetric fistula is a childbirth injury because of lack of medical help.
CONDITIONS: Uterine rupture and obstetric fistula (an opening between the bladder or rectum and vagina that allows urine or feces to pass through the vagina; caused by obstructed labor)
Women with obstetric fistula in Ethopia: a 6 months follow up after surgical treatment.