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Side Effect: Fistula (abnormal connection between tissues)

What is a Fistula?

An abnormal connection or passageway between two tissues or structures in the body is called a fistula. Fistulas can develop within and between various parts of the body, including the digestive system, urinary tract, and reproductive system.

What does a Fistula look like?

The appearance and symptoms of a fistula depend upon its location in the body. A fistula may look like a small hole or opening on the skin, or it may be hidden inside the body. Some patients may experience symptoms due to the fistula, while others may not experience any symptoms at all.

Common symptoms of a fistula include:

Who gets Fistulas?

How do you prevent Fistulas?

Preventing fistulas depends upon the underlying cause. Managing chronic conditions like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis can reduce the risk of fistulas in the digestive tract. Preventing infection and taking proper care of wounds after surgery can also help prevent fistulas from developing.

How do you treat Fistulas?


1. Gribovskaja-Rupp I, Melton GB. Enterocutaneous Fistula: Proven Strategies and Updates. Clin Colon Rectal Surg 2016;29(2):130-137.

2. Kim N, Choi SH, Chang JS, et al. Use of bevacizumab before or after radiotherapy increases the risk of fistula formation in patients with cervical cancer. Int J Gynecol Cancer 2021;31(1):59-65.

Created: May 5, 2024 Updated: May 5, 2024