What Is a Bladder Fistula?

What Is a Bladder Fistula?

A bladder fistula is when an abnormal opening forms between the bladder and other organs, usually the bowel or the vagina (as these are the closest neighbours).

They are relatively uncommon, and are usually caused by inflammatory bowel disease, surgery or some kind of injury, bladder cancer, a congenital defect, or radiation therapy.

What Is The Bladder?

The bladder is a muscular sac located in the pelvis, roughly the size of a pear when empty with a capacity somewhere between 400 and 600ml when full. It receives urine from the kidneys and stores it for excretion via the urethra.

It is a vital organ for keeping waste from building up within your body, and any disruption to this process due to poor bladder health can cause inflammation, bladder stones, infections, cancer, or incontinence, all of which can impact on your overall wellbeing.

Symptoms of a Bladder Fistula

The most common symptom of a bladder fistula is if leakage from another organ appears in the urine, such as gas or stool. Frequent urinary tract infections or severe urinary leakage into another organ are also possible symptoms.

Diagnosing and Treating a Bladder Fistula

Bladder fistulas are usually diagnosed with a pelvic CT scan. A cystoscope may also be used to investigate the bladder – this a long thin telescope with a light at the end that is inserted into the urethra.

Treatment of the fistula will depend on the underlying cause. For example, if it is caused by cancer or inflammatory disease, surgical treatment of that primary condition will also treat the fistula. Healthy tissue is usually placed between the bladder and the other organ to block the opening.

Recovery after treatment will also depend on the underlying cause of the fistula, and so will vary greatly. For example, in the case of cancer, there may be further treatment required. Usually a catheter is required following surgery. This is a tube that is inserted into the bladder to help drain urine.

Treating a Bladder Fistula with Urology Specialist

While he is primarily a urological cancer surgeon, a href=”http://urologyspecialist.com.au/”>Dr Arianayagam also sees patients with general urological problems, including bladder fistulas.

If you have any questions regarding urinary issues or problems with your bladder and would like to book an appointment, please feel free to contact or call Dr Arianayagam’s office on 1300 307 990 and his staff will be able to assist.

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