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Had flu symptoms, no appetite and runny nose. How did the bowel become perforated?

My father was complaining of flu like symptoms, had no appetite and runny nose, though still in good spirits and seemed to have no real concern. 1 week later after the symptoms had not gone away he went to see his primary care physician and was admitted to the hospital. He was told he likely had pneumonia , and did not discharge him. At this point he still sounded great. He said the doctor performed a colonoscopy and took him for scans for further testing. 2-3 day after being admitted he was still waiting for the results when he was rushed into emergency surgery. I received a call at midnight from my dad informing me that he was going into surgery for a perforated bowel. I never spoke to him again. After surgery he was placed on life support with a breathing and feeding tube . The doctor said his bowel was perforated and that he suffered from sepsis and peritonosis. For the next 13 days I waited for signs of recovery and was told his chance of survival was unlikely and removed him from life support. I remember the doctor telling me he did a colonectomy and Hartmann type procedure, but I just don t understand how his bowel became perforated? He was only 52 years old, was active and overall healthy. Please help me understand.
Asked On : Fri, 2 Nov 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  58
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General Surgeon 's  Response

Thank you for the query.

The most probable reason of intestine perforation is colonoscopy. During this procedure, large intestine is filled with the high pressure air like a balloon. This high pressure in some cases when intestine wall for some reason is impaired causes perforation (especially when diverticles are present). Sometimes during the colonoscopy polyps are removed which can also cause such perforation.
As you can see, colonoscopy is not 100% safe procedure and such complications are always possible.

Hope this will help.
Answered: Sun, 4 Nov 2012
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