A rectovaginal fistula is a communication between the rectum and vagina. It is classified based on the level of the fistula, size and the cause of the fistula. Symptoms can range from incontinence to the passage of air or stool in the vagina. The fistulas can be either congenital or acquired. The most common reason is related to childbirth. Other causes of rectovaginal fistulas are inflammatory bowel disease, cancers, infection and prior history of pelvic radiation. While the incidence is 0.6% it remains an emotionally distressing disorder.
There is no effective non-surgical treatment for a rectovaginal fistula. Surgery is directed either transrectally or transvaginally, avoiding the need for a colostomy in most cases. We are very happy to discuss your options. Call us at (860) 826-3880 to discuss how we can help you.