Vaginal Fistula Treatments
Symptoms of a vaginal fistula can cause embarrassment to the sufferer but in many cases they can be treated effectively. Surgery will be offered in most cases but you may also be prescribed medication if your fistula was caused by infection.
If your fistula developed from an infection or the surrounding area is infected you will be prescribed a course of antibiotics prior to any further intervention. You may also be offered antibiotic treatment if your fistula is due to inflammatory bowel disease.
Infliximab or Remicade as it is also known as is used to treat inflammation in those suffering from Crohn’s or other forms of inflammatory bowel disease. This has also shown to help heal a fistula is IBD is the root cause.
The majority of fistulas will need surgical intervention to full heal. The operation will involve either or both a gynaecology surgeon and colorectal surgeon depending on the type of fistula.
The surgeon will remove the tract and close the opening by sewing healthy pieces of tissue together. This may involve:
- Attaching an anal fistula plug or a piece of biologic mesh which will grow with and heal the fistula
- Repair the damaged anal sphincter muscles if damage occurred from a recto-vaginal fistula
- A tissue graft or flap created from a nearby part of the body to cover the fistula
- In very complex cases, a colostomy may be created to divert waste away from the fistula site to allow healing to take place. In most instances this is only a temporary measure and the colostomy will be reversed once the fistula is healed.
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