Diseases of the Colon & Rectum

, Volume 40, Issue 7, pp 859–861 | Cite as

Acute colonic surgery and unrecognized hypothyroidism: A warning

Report of six cases
  • Eric Bergeron
  • Andrew Mitchell
  • Françoise Heyen
  • Serge Dubé
Case Reports


PURPOSE: This study was designed to highlight the significant morbidity related to undetected hypothyroidism in the elderly who are undergoing emergency surgery. METHOD: Case reports of six patients who presented with acute colonic surgical conditions are reviewed. RESULTS: Six cases of undetected hypothyroidism in a group of elderly patients was unmasked at the time of surgery for acute colonic conditions or in the perioperative period. These patients experienced increased morbidity, but once detected and treated, all but one had an uneventful recovery. CONCLUSION: Unrecognized hypothyroidism may lead to unnecessary surgery or even a potentially fatal outcome. A heightened awareness of this not so uncommon entity is mandatory.

Key words

Elderly Hypothyroidism Acute colonic surgery Morbidity 


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Copyright information

© American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Bergeron
    • 1
  • Andrew Mitchell
    • 1
  • Françoise Heyen
    • 1
  • Serge Dubé
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MontrealMontrealCanada

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