Intestinal fistulas are abnormal passages from the intestine to either an internal organ or the body surface. They can occur as the result of congenital defects, injuries, infection radiation or illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Many fistulas require surgical treatment which usually consists of removing a short segment of intestine. These operations are optimally performed by a gastrointestinal or colorectal surgeon.
The Division of Gastrointestinal surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is made up of highly trained surgeons, including staff board-certified in colon and rectal surgery.