Difference between Anastomosis and Fistula

What is Anastomosis?

Anastomosis is an attachment or connection between two structures that are otherwise diverging. The connection can be normal or abnormal, it can be acquired or innate and it can be natural or artificial.

A natural anastomosis can be seen in blood vessels such as between two arteries, two veins or between an artery and a vein. Surgical anastomosis is done in segments of intestine or blood vessels either by stapling or sewing surgically.

What is Fistula?

A fistula is an abnormal connection between two structures. It is usually formed as a result of injury or surgery. They can also result due to an infection or inflammation. There are many types of fistulas based on their location. Example: anal fistulas connect the anal canal and perianial skin, colovaginal fistulas connect between a colon and vagina, vesicouterine fistula forms a connection between uterus and bladder.

There are four types of fistulas:

  • Blind: this kind of connection is open at only one end.
  • Complete: this kind of connection has openings both inside and outside the body.
  • Horseshoe: a connection between the anus and the skin surface after going around rectum.
  • Incomplete: a tube-like structure from the skin that does not connect with any internal structures.

Anastomosis vs Fistula

Anastomosis

Fistula

Description

Anastomosis is a connection between two structures that are otherwise diverging or branching.

A fistula is an abnormal connection between two structures.

Type

It can be normal or abnormal.

It is abnormal.

Occurrence

It can either be natural or surgical, and innate or acquired.

It occurs either due to injury and surgery or infection and inflammation.

Example

Connection between two arteries, two veins or an artery and a vein.

Stapled or sewn intestinal segments after a surgery.

Explore BYJU’S Biology for more related topics.

Also Read:

Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between Anastomosis and Fistula

Is a fistula an anastomosis?

Surgical anastomosis is sometimes referred to as fistula.

What is the purpose of anastomosis?

Anastomosis in blood vessels creates an alternative route for blood flow when the main route is blocked.

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