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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
A study12 considered intravenous urography, retrograde pyelography and cystography essential for the diagnosis of ureterovaginal fistula. Another study7 diagnosed UVF on the basis of simple procedures like ultrasonography with three swab test.
Anotehr study13 emphasised on the role of vaginogram in the detection of ureterovaginal fistula. However, we performed simple ureteric catheterisation, to assess the level of obstruction followed by the exploration during the same anaesthesia.
The main aim of the treatment of ureterovaginal fistula is the resolution of the urinary leakage, prevention of urosepsis and preservation of renal function.
Others have recommended10 psoas hitch as the procedure of choice in ureterovaginal fistula cure and considered prevention to be the most efficient treatment, while still others8 considered ureteroneocystostomy alone as the most effective method.
Complications associated with ureterovaginal fistula repair include urinary extravasation and ureteral stricture formation.
Ureterovaginal fistula commonly occurs in emergency procedures conducted by the residents/junior registrars, including the emergency caesarean section and emergency hysterectomies.
Ureterovaginal fistula following laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy: case report.
Immediate ureterovaginal fistula secondary to oocyte retrieval: a case report.
Diagnosis and management of ureterovaginal fistula in a resource-constrained setting: experience at a district hospital in northern Nigeria.
Ureterovaginal fistula: Summary of 18 years experience.
Management of ureterovaginal fistula. J Surg Pak 2006; 11: 159-62.