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Fistulas Specialist

Mission Surgical Clinic

General and Vascular Surgery located in Riverside, Corona, Redlands, Eastvale, San Bernadino, Barstow, Riverside, Murrieta CA

Injuries and surgeries that cause trauma to your body also increase your risk of developing painful fistulas. At Mission Surgical Clinic, the experienced surgical team offers comprehensive surgery to treat fistulas. They use minimally invasive treatments to close the abnormal openings to prevent infection and other problems that can complicate your health. If you need surgery to treat fistulas, call the Redlands, Riverside, San Bernardino, Eastvale, Barstow or Corona, California, office today to schedule an appointment. You can also book your consultation online.

Fistulas Q&A

What are fistulas?

Fistulas are abnormal, tunnel-like connections that develop between two parts of your body. These connections often form after an injury, infection, or surgery.

Fistulas most often form in the areas between:

  • Veins and arteries
  • Neck and throat
  • Anus and skin surface
  • Stomach and the skin surface
  • Bile ducts and the skin surface

If you suffer from a gastrointestinal disorder like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, you’re more prone to fistulas forming between sections of your intestines or between the intestines and nearby arteries and veins.

In women, fistulas can develop after childbirth, especially if you experience a longer than normal labor. The fistulas most often form between the bowel and vagina or the vagina and the cervix.

When should I seek treatment for fistulas?

You should seek treatment for fistulas at Mission Surgical Clinic if you experience symptoms that cause you discomfort. These include:

  • Pain
  • Abscesses
  • Skin irritation
  • Foul-smelling discharge
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Pain during sex

Without treatment, many fistulas can cause complications like bacterial infections, sepsis (a life-threatening, systemwide infection), low blood pressure, and organ damage. Some fistulas, including those in the anus, can increase your risk of developing cancer if they’re not treated.

How are fistulas treated?

Some fistulas do heal on their own without treatment. However, untreated fistulas can reopen and grow larger.

If you have a fistula that’s small but not causing any complications, the Mission Surgical Clinic team will do an in-office procedure to open the fistula and drain its excess fluid to prevent infection. They close the fistula with stitches.

If you have a large fistula, you’ll need more invasive surgery to properly close it. After surgery, you should expect a longer healing process. The surgical team will provide you with complete after-care guidance based on where the treated fistula was.

As you continue to heal, the team will ask you to schedule follow-up appointments to ensure that the fistula remains closed and no additional connections form.

Call the Mission Surgical Clinic office nearest you today or book a consultation online to find out if you’re a candidate for fistula surgery.