Colonoscopic Perforation and Bleeding of the Colon Can Be Treated Safely Without Surgery

Ker, Tim S.; Wasserberg, Nir; Beart, Robert W.
October 2004
American Surgeon;Oct2004, Vol. 70 Issue 10, p922
Academic Journal
The incidence of colonoscopic perforation of colon is about 0.3 per cent. The incidence of colonoscopic bleeding is about 0.6 per cent. Many of those patients undergo unnecessary operations. In order to assess the outcome of nonoperative management of those patients with postcolonoscopic perforation and bleeding, the records of 5120 patients who underwent colonoscopies from September 1, 1988 to June 30, 2003 were retrospectively reviewed with attention paid to colonoscopic perforation and bleeding. Their symptoms, management, and outcome were reviewed. There were 2765 male and 2355 female patients. Ages ranged from 9 to 91 years. A total of 1902 patients (37.1%) had polyps removed. Six patients (0.1%) had colonoscopic perforation. All of them presented with abdominal pain 1 to 4 days after colonoscopic polypectomy. All had subphrenic free air or subcutaneous emphysema on the radiogram. All were treated nonoperatively with nothing by mouth and intravenous fluids and antibiotics in the hospital and recovered uneventfully. Six patients (0.1%) had colonic bleeding that occurred 1 to 14 days after colonoscopic polypectomy. All of them were managed by repeat colonoscopy with injection of epinephrine. All recovered without further bleeding. Therefore, postcolonoscopic perforation and bleeding can be treated nonoperatively. It is safe and cost effective. The mortality and morbidity are very low.


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