Surgical management of lower gastrointestinal bleeding

Review Article

Abstract

Purpose

Lower gastrointestinal bleeding (LGIB) is any form of bleeding distal to the Ligament of Treitz. In most cases, acute LGIB is self-limited and resolves spontaneously with conservative management.

Methods

Only a minority of approximately 10% is admitted to hospital with signs of massive bleeding and shock requiring resuscitation, urgent evaluation and treatment.

Results

Over the past decade, there has been a progressive decrease in upper GI events and a significant increase in lower GI events. Overall, mortality has also decreased, but in-hospital fatality due to upper or lower GI complications have remained constant. The problem is that LGIB can arise from a number of sources and may be a significant cause of hospitalisation and mortality in elderly patients.

Conclusions

After initial resuscitation, the diagnosis and treatment of LGIB remains a challenge for acute care surgeons, whereby the identification of the source of bleeding is of utmost importance.

Keywords

Lower GI bleeding Colonoscopy Angiography Surgery 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery and Section for Surgical ResearchMedical University of GrazGrazAustria

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