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Definition Return to top
A fistula is an abnormal connection between an organ, vessel, or intestine and another structure. Fistulas are usually the result of injury or surgery. It can also result from infection or inflammation.
Inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, is an example of a disease that leads to fistulas between one loop of intestine and another. Injury can lead to fistulas between arteries and veins.
Information Return to top
Fistulas may occur in many parts of the body. Some of these are:
Types of fistulas include:
References Return to top
Feldman M, Friedman LS, Sleisenger MH, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders; 2002:2285-2286.
Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, Sabiston Textbook of Surgery, 17th ed. St. Louis, MO: WB Saunders; 2004:1497-1500.Update Date: 7/25/2007 Updated by: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.