Feeds

What is a fistula?

Abnormal connections

Business security measures using SSL

Also in this week's column:

What is a fistula?

Asked by Terry Cardner of St Louis, Missouri

The body grows all sorts of things. Parts of the body are connected in all sorts of ways. A fistula is an abnormal connection, such as a tube, between an organ, a vessel, or an intestine and another organ, vessel, or intestine. The connection can also involve the skin.

Fistulas are usually the result of injury or surgery, but can also come from infection or inflammation. Anyone can develop one. Inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, is an example of a disease that promotes the development of fistulas. In such as case the fistula is between one loop of intestine and another.

"Fistula" is Latin for "pipe" or "long narrow ulcer". Dr J M Draus and five colleagues from the Department of Surgery at the School of Medicine at the University of Louisville write in the October 2006 issue of <cite<Surgery that fistulas can be very serious. In their study of 106 patients with enterocutaneous fistulas, seven per cent died of complications.

But for most such fistula patients, there are very satisfactory treatments. The Draus team points out that 75 to 85 per cent of patients are healed after surgery. See your physician if you have any worries in this area.

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.