What is the pathophysiology of fistula formation in diverticulitis?

Updated: Aug 06, 2019
  • Author: Elie M Ghoulam, MD, MS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Fistula formation is a complication of diverticulitis. Fistulas to adjacent organs and the skin may develop, especially in the presence of an abscess. In men, colovesicular fistulas are the most common. In women, the uterus is interposed between the colon and the bladder, and this complication of fistula formation is only seen following a hysterectomy. The uterus precludes fistula formation from the sigmoid colon to the urinary bladder. However, colovaginal and colocutaneous fistulas can form, albeit uncommonly.


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