A gastrointestinal fistula is an abnormal opening that allows the contents of the stomach or intestines to leak.
- If it leaks through to a part of the intestines, it is called an entero-enteral fistula.
- If it leaks to through to the skin, it is called an enterocutaneous fistula.
Entero-enteral fistula; Enterocutaneous fistula; Fistula - gastrointestinal
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Most gastrointestinal fistulas occur after surgery. Other causes include:
- Gastrointestinal obstruction
- Inflammatory processes, such as infection or inflammatory bowel disease (most often Crohn's disease)
- Radiation to the abdomen (most often given as part of cancer treatment)
- Trauma, especially penetrating wounds such as those due to a stabbing or gunshot