Weill Cornell Medicine Urology
Weill Cornell Medicine Urology
Female Urogenital Fistula

Female Urogenital Fistula

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Patrick J. Culligan

Patrick Culligan, MD, FACOG, FACS, graduated from Georgia Tech in 1989 and from the Mercer University School of Medicine in 1993. After completing his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology with the Greenville Hospital System / University of South Carolina, he went on to a fellowship in Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery at the Evanston Continence Center, Northwestern University Medical School, where he trained extensively in the surgical and non-surgical management of all pelvic floor disorder such as pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, and fecal incontinence.

Richard Lee

Dr. Richard Lee, MD MBA, completed his undergraduate degree at Duke University and his MD/MBA in Healthcare Management at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Wharton School. He completed his surgical internship and urology residency at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He completed his fellowship in Voiding Dysfunction, Female Urology, and Neurourology at both Weill Cornell Medical College/New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, after which he was appointed to the full-time faculty at Cornell in July 2011.

Female Urogenital Fistula - Treatment Options

Conservative (non-surgical) therapy is rarely effective for urogenital fistulas; most vaginal fistulas require surgery to close the opening. Vaginal fistulas are usually treated with surgery through the abdomen or vagina. In certain cases, they may be treated with laparoscopic or robotic surgery.

Female Urogenital Fistula - Symptoms & Evaluation

The symptoms of vaginal fistulas include leakage of urine or feces through the vagina. Symptoms of anal and rectal fistulas, if caused by an abscess, include constant throbbing pain and swelling in the rectal area. Pus is sometimes visible draining from the fistula opening on the skin. Many individuals have a fever resulting from the infection causing the abscess.

Female Urogenital Fistula - Risks & Causes

The causes and symptoms of fistulas vary, depending on their location. Anal and rectal fistulas are usually caused by an abscess. Vaginal fistulas may be caused by infection and trauma during childbirth. In the United States, urogenital fistulas are less commonly caused by obstetric trauma and are more likely to be a result of surgical complications from a procedures such as hysterectomy, or from pelvic abscesses or other pelvic inflammatory conditions.


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