How serious is a colon fistula?
A person with a gastrointestinal fistula can become very ill and may develop a condition known as sepsis. This is where a person’s body attacks itself as a reaction to a severe infection. Sepsis causes a range of symptoms, such as low blood pressure, high fever, high heart rate, and organ failure.
Can you have a fistula in your colon?
A colonic fistula is an abnormal tunnel from the colon to the surface of the skin or to an internal organ, such as the bladder, small intestine, or vagina. An anorectal fistula is an abnormal tunnel from the anus or rectum to the surface of the skin around the anus.
Do fistulas drain?
Fistulas are associated with drainage of blood, pus, or mucus, but they are generally not painful.
What is a fistula in colon?
A gastrointestinal fistula is an abnormal opening in the stomach or intestines that allows the contents to leak. Leaks that go through to a part of the intestines are called entero-enteral fistulas. Leaks that go through to the skin are called enterocutaneous fistulas.
What Does a colon fistula feel like?
GI fistulas that join two distant parts of the digestive tract or another organ can cause symptoms including: Abdominal pain or pain in the area between the genitals and anus (perineum) Diarrhea or gas, which may be severe. Painful or uncomfortable sex in women.
How is colon fistula treated?
Treatments may include:
- Immune suppressing medicines if the fistula is a result of Crohn disease.
- Surgery to remove the fistula and part of the intestines if the fistula is not healing.
- Nutrition through a vein while the fistula heals (in some cases)
Can a bowel fistula heal without surgery?
In about half of the cases where an abscess has occurred and drained, a fistula will form between the inside or the pocket and the opening where the infection drained. A fistula will not heal without treatment, which involves removing the pocket where the infection started.
What are the symptoms of a colon fistula?
The signs and symptoms of an anal fistula include:
- Frequent anal abscesses.
- Pain and swelling around the anus.
- Bloody or foul-smelling drainage (pus) from an opening around the anus.
- Irritation of the skin around the anus from drainage.
- Pain with bowel movements.
- Fever, chills and a general feeling of fatigue.