Genitourinary Fistula Repair

What is genitourinary fistula repair?

Genitourinary fistula repair involves surgery to fix a genitourinary fistual. A genitourinary fistual is an abnormal communication between a woman’s urinary (ureters, bladder and urethra) and genital (cervix, vagina and uterus) systems. As a result, urinary incontinence (uncontrolled discharges of urine) can occur.

What does the surgery involve?

During the procedure, your surgeon will utilize a variety of techniques to access and repair the fistula. Dr. Shelby Morrisroe will use special techniques to make the small incision possible and make the procedure minimally invasive. The most common fistula repair surgery is fistulotomy. With a fistulotomy, you will be given general anesthesia. Your surgeon will cut open the fistula tract to drain pus or remove diseased tissue. This will help convert the fistula from a tunnel to an open groove to allow the fistula tract to heal from the inside out. If your fistula is larger or more complex, a special implantable drain may be needed. To aid with healing, the sides of the fistula will be stitched to your incision.

Other fistula repair procedures include:

  • Advancement rectal flap procedure: healthy tissue is used to cover the internal opening, closing a complex fistula.
  • Endoscopic fistula repair: this incisionless technique is for fistulas that are in the upper part of the small intestine. A small, flexible tube and a tiny camera will pass through the mouth and esophagus to access and remove the fistula.
  • Fibrin glue or collagen plug: the fistula is sealed shut with either special glue made from plasma protein or a plug that is made of collagen.
  • Fistula clip closure: an implantable clip is used to close the internal opening of the fistula. Constant pressure from the clip is used to dry it out and promote healing.
  • Fistula-tract laser closure (FiLAC): a laser probe is used to emit a controlled beam of energy that removes the fistula without splitting it open.
  • Ligation of intersphicteric fistula tract (LIFT): using a special device, the fistula is widened. Weeks later, the infected tissue is removed and the internal fistula opening is closed.
  • Seton-Assisted fistula repair: cotton or silk thread is wrapped around the opening of the fistula and tightened over time to create scar tissue. The scar tissue then seals off the fistula eventually.

Schedule a free consultation in Torrance, California

To learn more about genitourinary fistula repair, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Shelby Morrisroe. As a urologist and pelvic floor expert, Dr. Morrisroe helps women in the South Bay area with urinary and vaginal issues such as fistulas. During your consultation, Dr. Morrisroe will assess your symptoms and will cover the best treatment option for you. Schedule today using our online form or by calling us at (310) 542-0199.


*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.

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We're happy to answer any questions you may have, feel free to call us at
(310) 542-0199