Large Bowel Obstruction Due to Intrauterine Device: Associated Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Antonelli, Darrin; Kustrup, John F.
December 1999
American Surgeon;Dec1999, Vol. 65 Issue 12, p1165
Academic Journal
Pelvic actinomycosis associated with the use of intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUDs) can mimic pelvic malignancy. Recognizing this rare, but not uncommon complication of IUD use can spare a patient from an extensive surgical procedure. If recognized preoperatively, a simple regimen of antibiotics can be curative; however, if symptomatic, a limited surgical procedure is warranted. We present the case of a 55-year-old woman with a slow, indolent course of partial large bowel obstruction and a history of IUD use for over 20 years. A preoperative CT scan revealed a frozen pelvis mimicking a pelvic malignancy. Exploratory laparotomy revealed a firm, indurated, fibrotic reaction in the pelvis involving the uterus, adnexa, and sigmoid colon. A diverting loop colostomy was performed, and pathology revealed sulfur granules from the extracted IUD that grew Actinomyces. The patient was treated with the appropriate antibiotics, and during the takedown of the colostomy 6 months later the pelvic inflammation was completely resolved. An extensive review of the literature involving actinomycotic abscesses associated with IUD use reveals a limited number of studies reported in the general surgical literature. It behooves the general surgeon to be aware of this unusual case so that the appropriate consultation and treatment can be performed with limited morbidity to the patient.


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