A fistula is an abnormal communication between two epithelial surfaces. This can be anything from between two parts of the colon, between the bladder and the rectum (colo-vesical fistula), between the rectum and the vagina (recto-vaginal fistula), between the trachea and the esophagus (traheo-esophageal fistula) and so on and so forth.

Crohn's disease is famous for causing fistulas between two bits of colon, between colon and vagina/bladder and even colon and skin.

Fis"tu*la (?; 135), n.; pl. Fistulae (#). [L.]

1.

A reed; a pipe.

2.

A pipe for conveying water.

[Obs.]

Knight.

3. Med.

A permanent abnormal opening into the soft parts with a constant discharge; a deep, narrow, chronic abscess; an abnormal opening between an internal cavity and another cavity or the surface; as, a salivary fistula; an anal fistula; a recto-vaginal fistula.

Incomplete fistula Med., a fistula open at one end only.

 

© Webster 1913.

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