Medline: 6697836

Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 27(2): 89-92, 1984.

Surgical aspects of radiation enteritis of the small bowel.

Wobbes T, Verschueren RC, Lubbers EJ, et al.

Abstract:

Injury to the small bowel is one of the tragic complications of radiotherapy. We performed a retrospective analysis of patients operated upon for stenosis, perforation, fistulization, and chronic blood loss of the small bowel after radiotherapy for multiple malignant diseases. In the period 1970 to 1982 in the Department of General Surgery of the St. Radboud University Hospital, Nijmegen, and the Department of Surgical Oncology of the State University, Groningen, 27 patients were treated surgically. Twenty patients presented with obstruction. In 17 patients a side-to-side ileotransversostomy was performed; in three the injured bowel was resected. Of the five patients with fistulization, three underwent a bypass procedure; in two cases the affected bowel was resected. In one patient with perforation, a resection was performed, as in a patient with chronic blood loss. Two of the 20 patients (10 per cent) in whom the diseased bowel was bypassed died postoperatively. Of the seven patients whose affected bowel was resected four (57 per cent) died of intra-abdominal sepsis. Management of the patient with chronic radiation enteritis is discussed. We conclude, on the basis of our experience, that in patients with obstruction and fistulization, a bypass procedure of the affected bowel is a safe method of treatment. In case of resection, the anastomosis should be performed during a second operation.


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