A bladder fistula is when an opening kinds between the bladder and some other organ or the skin. Frequently the bladder opens to the bowel (“enterovesical fistula”) or the vaginal area (“vesicovaginal fistula”).
How Does the Bladder Usually Work?
The bladder is a balloon-shaped organ that stores urine, which is made in the kidneys. It is kept in place by pelvic muscles in the lower part of your belly. When it isn’t full, the bladder is relaxed. Nerve signals in your brain let you understand that your bladder is getting full. Then you feel the need to pee. The brain informs the bladder muscles to squeeze (or “agreement”).
What Causes Bladder Fistula?
Though uncommon, a bladder fistula to the skin can result when the bladder outlet is blocked and the bladder is damaged. This can be due to injury or prior surgery. Vesicovaginal fistulas can be seen after a urological or gynecological surgery. They can also be linked to gynecological cancers. Fistulas to the bowel are mostly a result of a disease that causes inflammation, such as Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis. About 2 out of 10 cases of bowel fistula are caused by bowel cancer. Fistulas to both the vagina and the bowel might likewise form as an outcome of radiation therapy.
What are the Signs of Bladder Fistula?
Your healthcare service provider may presume bladder fistula if you have difficult urinary tract infections. Other signs are urine smelling or appearing like stool or if gas comes out through your urethra when you pee.
How is Bladder Fistula Diagnosed?
Bladder fistula is diagnosed with an x-ray research study. The kind of x-ray used may be a CT scan or a pelvic x-ray. A dye that shows up well in x-rays (called “contrast”) will be put into your bladder, either through a vein or a catheter. Your healthcare supplier might likewise check out your bladder with a cystoscope, a long, thin telescope with a light at the end. In some cases, x-ray research studies with contrast might be done on other organs (like the bowel), as well.
How is Bladder Fistula Treated?
Bladder fistula is most often treated with surgery to remove the broken part of the bladder. Healthy tissue is moved between the bladder and the other organ to block the opening. If the fistula is triggered by a disease, such as colon cancer or inflammatory disease, the fistula is repaired during the surgery to treat that disease.
What Can I Expect after Treatment for Bladder Fistula?
The success of the surgery depends upon the surgeon having the ability to remove the main disease. There also must be healthy tissue to close the fistula with. If there is cancer that can’t be eliminated or tissue that has bad blood circulation due to radiation treatment, the outcomes might not be as good. After surgery, you can expect to have a catheter in your bladder for a couple of weeks.
Last modified: November 13, 2016