We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Duodenal Fistula?

By Jillian O Keeffe
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A fistula is an abnormal opening between two parts of the body. The duodenum is a portion of the small intestine, and a fistula here can result from a variety of causes. Trauma to the area, cancer development or disease of the area can all cause openings in normally complete tissues, resulting in leakages and potentially life-threatening effects. A duodenal fistula can open into other organs, into the abdominal space, or even be a hole in the skin of the abdomen, exposing the organs to the outside environment.

The digestive system is made up of several different parts. After food enters the stomach, it moves into the first part of the small intestine, which is the duodenum. Here, the stomach acid mixed up with the food is neutralized, before it moves onto the rest of the small intestine for nutrients to be absorbed. The whole digestive system is basically a tube, which moves food through the body without the food coming into contact with the rest of body, apart from the broken down nutrients. It is lined with cells that keep the system flexible and protected against invading material like bacteria, of which some are epithelial cells.

Epithelial cells are the same type of cells that makes up skin. A fistula is technically defined as a hole that brings two epithelial surfaces into contact with each other, and a duodenal fistula is therefore a hole in the duodenum that connects to another epithelial layer, such as the outer skin of a patient, or the epithelial layers of an organ. Wherever the duodenal fistula connects to, a medical problem exists, as the normal movement of food and gastric products through the small intestine is interfered with.

In addition to the reduction of normal movement of products through the intestine, the products have properties that are dangerous to health. The gastric juices mixed up with the food are very acidic, and this can cause damage to the tissue that the fistula connects with. Areas of the body that are not usually exposed to material like half-digested food can also suffer problems, and the workings of affected organs can deteriorate. A healthy, unbroken digestive system also prevents the non-sterile food from entering the body, and the duodenal fistula can expose bodily tissues to pathogens, thus resulting in infections.

Surgery is generally the best treatment option for a person with a duodenal fistula. Ironically, surgery for unrelated issues is a significant cause of this type of fistula. Antibiotic treatment and fluid and electrolyte replacement can also be employed to help the patient recover.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.