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Indian J Surg. 2015 Feb;77(1):3-6. doi: 10.1007/s12262-012-0717-z. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Severe Colonic Complications requiring Sub-Total Colectomy in Acute Necrotizing Pancreatitis-A Retrospective Study of 8 Patients.

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Department of Surgical Gastroenterology, Haribhakti Surgical Hospital, 508, Sangita Complex, Opp Doctor House, Nr. Parimal Crossing, Ahmedabad, 380006, Gujarat India.


Colonic involvement in acute pancreatitis is associated with high mortality. Diagnosis of colonic pathology complicating acute pancreatitis is difficult. The treatment of choice is resection of the affected segment. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of aggressive surgical approach when colonic complication is suspected. Retrospectively, 8 patients with acute necrotizing pancreatitis and colonic complications (2006-2010) were reviewed. Eight patients with acute necrotizing pancreatitis requiring colonic resection were evaluated. Presentation was varied, including rectal bleeding (2), clinical deterioration during severe pancreatitis (4), colonic contrast leak on CT scan (1) and large bowel obstruction (1). Typically, patients with severe acute pancreatitis had colonic pathology obscured and unrecognized initially because of the ongoing, fulminant inflammatory process. All eight patients underwent Sub-total colectomy & ileostomy for suspected imminent or overt ischemia/perforation, based on the outer aspect of the colon. There was one mortality due to severe sepsis and multiorgan dysfunction syndrome. All other patients recovered well and later underwent closure of the stoma. Recognition of large bowel involvement may be difficult because of nonspecific symptoms or be masked by the systemic features of a critical illness. Clinicians should be aware that acute pancreatitis may erode or inflame the large bowel, resulting in lifethreatening colonic necrosis, bleeding or perforation. In our series of eight patients, we observed that mortality can be reduced by this aggressive surgical approach. We recommend a low threshold for colonic resection due to unreliable detection of ischemia or imminent perforation by outside inspection during surgery for acute necrotizing pancreatitis.


Colectomy; Complications; Necrotizing pancreatitis

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