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Management of colonic perforation after colonoscopy

Report of three cases

  • Case Reports
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Diseases of the Colon & Rectum


In a review of 5424 colonoscopies performed in the last ten years at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, 14 perforations related to the procedure were found. Seven perforations occurred during therapeutic colonoscopies (polypectomies) and seven during diagnostic colonoscopies. Eight patients were treated surgically and six nonsurgically. The decision about whether or not to perform surgery for a colonoscopically induced perforation depends on the clinical condition of the patient. Nonsurgical management is indicated if the patient's general condition remains stable, if the perforation has been diagnosed late, if the pneumoperitoneum that led to the diagnosis does not increase in size, if there are no signs of peritonitis, if the patient does not have a distal obstruction, and if the patient's condition improves in response to conservative treatment.

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Carpio, G., Albu, E., Gumbs, M.A. et al. Management of colonic perforation after colonoscopy. Dis Colon Rectum 32, 624–626 (1989).

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