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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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


An abnormal congenital or acquired communication between two surfaces or between a viscus or other hollow structure and the exterior.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


In ancient Roman construction, a water pipe of lead or earthenware.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Notably, culture was said to impact the beliefs about obstetric fistula, perceptions of hospitals, and on sociocultural practices that increase risk.
She said Pakistan National Forum on Women Health (PNFWH) is implementing this Project all over Pakistan by Providing surgical treatment, training for doctors and mid-level health care providers and raising awareness on the social issues related to Obstetric Fistula.
He said it is immoral that the poorest, most vulnerable women and girls suffer needlessly from the devastating condition of obstetric fistula.
Obstetric fistula can be caused by prolonged labour which is mostly unrelieved, lack of access to a C-section, and low quality of C-section which can lead to iatrogenic fistula.
They pleaded that the provincial government be held accountable for the denial of timely and adequate treatment of obstetric fistula as violations of women's fundamental rights under the Constitution, including their rights to life and dignity.
The UN says an estimated two million women in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region, and Latin America and the Caribbean are living with obstetric fistula, and some 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop each year.
Characteristics and surgical success of patients presenting for repair of obstetric fistula in western Kenya.
She has been working tirelessly since 1958 to help women affected by obstetric fistula.
(2015) Obstetric fistula. https://en.wikipedia.Org/wiki/0bstetric_fistula#/media/File:Addis-ababa- fistula-hospital.jpg.
"Since we have open[ed] up [a] women's ward, we have also set up [an] obstetric fistula treatment campaign aim[ed] at eradicating fistula infection to restore South Sudanese women's dignity," he said during a visit to the ward on Tuesday.
PESHAWAR -- A seminar was organized to mark International Day to End Obstetric Fistula (23rd May 2014) a disease of child mother during pregnancy here at Peshawar Press Club.
According to the report, two million of the 7.3 million births are to girls 14 or younger, who suffer the gravest longC...term health and social consequences from pregnancy, including high rates of maternal death and obstetric fistula.