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Conditions We Treat: Vaginal Fistulas

A vaginal fistula is an abnormal opening between the vagina and other nearby organs, including the bladder or rectum. A fistula may be caused by childbirth, surgery, cancer or other pelvic injury. Fistulas can cause many complications, such as urinary and fecal leakage, tissue damage, kidney infections and other abdominal discomfort.

Vaginal Fistulas Treatment: Why Choose Johns Hopkins

  • We listen closely to our patients and work with other specialties, including physical therapy, gastroenterology, colorectal surgery and urology, when appropriate, to develop individualized plans to address each patient’s concerns and specific condition.
  • Experienced in a wide range of evidence-based treatments and surgical techniques, including minimally invasive surgery, our expert team has a high success rate with fistula repairs.

Vaginal Fistulas Treatment: What to Expect

Your treatment path will vary based on the location and type of fistula.

At your initial appointment, your doctor will review your medical and surgical history and will perform a complete physical exam. It will be helpful if you can bring relevant medical records to your appointment, including past operative notes and test results. In some cases, additional consultations or tests may be recommended.

Additional testing may include:

  • Imaging studies, such as ultrasound, CT scan or MRI
  • Colonoscopy (using a camera to look into the colon) to screen for other potential causes, including inflammatory bowel disease
  • Cystourethroscopy (using a camera to look into the bladder or urethra) to identify the location of your fistula

Your doctor will review these results with you to develop your care plan. 

Our Specialists

Pelvic health team poses in white coatsThe Pelvic Health & Reconstructive Surgery Center Team.

Our team of urogynecologists partners with a multidisciplinary team of colorectal surgeons, urologists, and physical therapists who work together to diagnose and repair your fistula. To make an appointment with our urogynecology team, please call us at 443-997-0400.

Urogynecology Experts

Grace Chen, M.D.
Victoria Handa, M.D.
Danielle Patterson, M.D.

Partnering Specialists

Colorectal Surgery

Alodia Gabre-Kidan, M.D., M.P.H.
Susan Gearhart, M.D.


Edward James Wright, M.D.
Marisa Clifton, M.D.

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