Difference Between Anastomosis and Fistula


The connection of two parts in the human trunk can either be normal, surgically created, or aberrant. When these connections are normal or surgically created, they are referred to as an anastomosis. When there is a connection in the body which is aberrant, it is referred to equally a fistula. All of these connections are the result of various causative factors.


Anastomosis refers to the connexion of two parts that unremarkably diverge. In the medical field, anastomosis ordinarily refers to a connection betwixt two portions (or loops) of intestine or between claret vessels. Anastomoses are either naturally occurring in the body, or they are created by surgical intervention.

Natural Anastomoses

Anastomoses occurring naturally throughout the torso refer to natural connections betwixt structures. For example, the natural connection between arteries and veins. These natural connections assistance the body in transporting nutrients, gases, and blood efficiently and effectively.

Surgical Anastomoses

Surgical anastomoses refer to connections which take artificially been created past a surgeon through a procedure. Ofttimes, these procedures are done when there is a blockage in an artery or vein, or when a portion of the intestine becomes obstructed. Surgical anastomoses can also be performed when there is a growth or neoplasm found in the intestine, this is done following the removal (or resection) of the affected intestine. After removal of a portion, reattachment can exist done by sewing or stapling the newly anastomosed area.

A fistula is commonly defined as the abnormal connection or pathway between organs or arteries and veins, which exercise non usually connect. These connections tin occur in whatever region throughout the trunk, for instance:

  • Betwixt the intestine and the skin (enterocultaneous/colocutaneous fistula)
  • Between the vagina and the rectum (rectovaginal or anovaginal fistula)
  • Betwixt the anal culvert and the surface area located at the anal opening (anorectal fistula)
  • Between the vagina and the colon (colovaginal fistula)
  • Between the bladder and the uterus (vesicouterine fistula)
  • Between the bladder and the vagina (vesicovaginal fistula)
  • Betwixt the urethra and the vagina (urethrovaginal fistula)
  • Between two parts of intestine (enteroenteral fistula)
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Fistulas can be caused after childbirth and when a woman goes into labour which becomes obstructed without relief. Other diseases and conditions tin can as well cause this complication. Diseases such equally Chron’s disease, diverticulitis in the intestine, likewise treatments such equally radiation therapies.


An anastomosis is not abnormal or unplanned, therefore there are no symptoms applicable.

In the example of a fistula, at that place are symptoms present and these include:

  • Urine leaking out if the vagina
  • Irritated genital organs (externally)
  • Frequent bladder infections or urinary tract infections
  • Leaking gas and/or faecal thing into the vagina
  • Nausea
  • Airsickness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Increased hurting in the intestinal region

Risks and complications

After a surgical anastomosis, there is an increased chance of blood clots in the localized area or minor blood clots which travel to the heart and lungs through the claret vessels, infections, scarring, bleeding, wound rupturing, anastomotic leak (also perhaps leading to infection), and inverse bowel movements

In the occurrence of a fistula, there is a chance for loss of bowel command, boring wound healing, returning fistulas, narrowed anal canal causing restricted bowel movements, infections, and bleeding and clotting.

Treatment options

For anastomoses procedures, surgical treatment options involve iii types of anastomoses:

  • Cease-to-end: where two open ends are continued together
  • Side-to-side: where two sides of each end are connected together, and the ends are closed via stapling or stitching (this treatment option carries less risk)
  • End-to-side: where one side and ane end of two ends are connected together.

The pick of treatment option is dependent on the type of condition and the preferred technique of a specialist surgeon.

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In the handling of fistulas at that place is the pick of not-invasive options as follows:

  • Fibrin glue: a specialized medical gum made to seal fistulas
  • Plug: a filler fabricated of collagen in a matrix form
  • Catheter: used to bleed fistulas, ordinarily small-scale ones to manage associated infection

In that location are too surgical handling options every bit follows:

  • Transabdominal surgery: access to the fistula for repair through the intestinal wall
  • Laparoscopic surgery: minimally invasive surgery using cameras and tools to admission the fistula through the intestinal wall

Pharmaceutical handling is too administered, such as antibiotics to care for infections equally a complication from a fistula.

Table of comparing between an anastomosis and a fistula


Anastomosis and fistula are ii terms used to draw the connection of two areas. In the case of anastomoses, this connectedness is either natural or surgically created. In the case of a fistula, the connection is aberrant and usually indicative of a mild to serious medical status. Both anastomoses and fistulas can be address surgically, although fistulas can be addressed not-invasively and through medications to treat associated complications.


Is a fistula an anastomosis?

A fistula is an aberrant connection between 2 parts in the body, where an anastomosis is a normal connection or a surgically created connection. Therefore, a fistula is non an anastomosis. However, in the case of dialysis treatment an arteriovenous fistula is created through anastomosis of an avenue and a vein, this abnormal connexion is surgically created and is therefore a type of anastomosis.

What is anastomosis in dialysis?

Dialysis is a handling method that provides an culling and external filtering of the blood in the case of kidney failure or compromised kidney function. An anastomosis in dialysis refers to a fistula created by a surgeon, usually in the upper limb, where an avenue and a superficial vein are connected and marks the access point for haemodialysis treatment.

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What are the three types of anastomoses?

The 3 types of anastomoses are as follows:

  1. End-to-finish: where two open ends are connected together
  2. Side-to-side: where ii sides of each end are connected together, and the ends are airtight via stapling or stitching (this treatment option carries less risk)
  3. Cease-to-side: where one side and one terminate of two ends are continued together.

Where is the anastomosis located?

Anastomosis is normally located between the veins and arteries, or in the intestine.

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