Vaginal fistula care at Mayo Clinic

Your Mayo Clinic care team

Mayo Clinic doctors trained in female reproductive systems (gynecologists and urogynecologists), urinary systems (urologists), intestinal systems (colorectal surgeons) and plastic surgery treat vaginal fistulas.

Having all this expertise in a single place, focused on you, means that you're not just getting one opinion. Your care is discussed among the team. Test results are available quickly, and appointments are scheduled in coordination. The most highly specialized experts in the world all work together for you.

Advanced diagnosis and treatment

With state-of-the-art research and lab facilities, Mayo Clinic doctors use advanced technology and sophisticated imaging tests to accurately diagnose vaginal fistula.

Experts at Mayo Clinic also help train new surgeons to do pelvic reconstructive surgery.

To diagnose a vaginal fistula, you'll likely have a pelvic exam. Your healthcare professional talks with you about your medical history and risk factors. Risk factors might include having inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, recent pelvic surgery, an infection, or pelvic radiation.

You also may need certain tests for a diagnosis. These could include a dye test or an exam that uses a special device to look inside the vagina, called cystoscopy. Certain imaging tests also can help with diagnosis. These include flexible sigmoidoscopy, CT scan and MRI.

Individualized care

At Mayo Clinic, your healthcare team provides you with individualized care to help you manage your condition. Doctors at Mayo Clinic also coordinate follow-up care with your primary healthcare professional.

Treatment for a simple fistula can include procedures that help the fistula heal. These procedures include bladder drainage or a ureteral stent.

Most vaginal fistulas require surgery to fix the opening. Depending on where the fistula is, your healthcare professional can do the surgery through the vagina or the abdomen. You might be able to have minimally invasive surgery or robotic surgery. You may need to have tissue taken from another area and placed over the repaired fistula to help it heal. You also may need to have a colostomy.

Having these procedures done typically involves a multidisciplinary team of surgeons.

Expertise and rankings

An experienced team

Mayo Clinic doctors perform more than 350 vaginal fistula repairs each year. At Mayo Clinic, a team of doctors provides comprehensive care for people with complex pelvic floor conditions, including vaginal fistulas.

Your care team may include doctors trained in women's reproductive systems (gynecologists and urogynecologists), urinary systems (urologists), intestinal systems (colorectal surgeons) and plastic surgery. This multidisciplinary care team works together to provide the best treatment for your condition.

Specialists in women's health

Mayo Clinic researchers seek innovative treatments for many types of gynecological problems, including vaginal fistula. The Women's Health Research Center at Mayo Clinic focuses on understanding and improving the health of women of all ages.

Learn more about Mayo Clinic's Colon and Rectal Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Urology departments' expertise and rankings.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

More information about billing and insurance:

Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota

Mayo Clinic Health System

Feb. 23, 2024


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