Perforation of the colon is a life-threatening condition, and the patients need to have surgery as soon as possible. The actual danger of colon rupture is connected to fecal leak into the peritoneum. Feces is rich in bacteria, and peritonitis develops as a result of their presence, multiplication and accompanying inflammatory reaction. Bacteria and their toxins can be further absorbed, get into the bloodstream, and cause sepsis which can finally lead to a lethal outcome.
Causes of Perforation
A variety of causes can lead to the rupture of the colon, the most frequent being trauma. The colon perforates either due to penetration of foreign objects from the outside, or after accidental or intentional swallowing of certain objects (usually the sharp ones). Apart from trauma, a colon can rupture due to numerous medical conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease, which affects the entire wall of the intestines. Even during some surgical procedures in the abdomen there is a chance of accidental perforation of large intestines. Finally, patients with advanced colon cancer many times face their disease for the first time after colon perforation.Symptoms of Colon Rupture
Right before the very rupture a patient may complain about weakness, pain in the abdomen, and cramps. Diarrhea or constipation can be additional signs which occur before the rupture. Apart from the previously mentioned, there can also be traces of blood in the stool, or the stool can be noticeably dark-colored.Surgical Treatment Will Repair the Rupture
In the majority of cases it is not difficult to set a diagnosis. The most important thing is to proceed as soon as possible with the surgery, and to prevent possible complications of this condition. A surgery will prevent some of the complications, and save patients' lives. Well experienced doctors will find the cause of the rupture quickly and the patient is going to be operated on within a short period of time. The goal of the surgery is to close and repair the rupture, and to clean the peritoneum from feces and accumulated fluid. This way the risk of possible peritonitis is reduced. Apart from the surgery, the patient requires high doses of antibiotics, which will additionally help in battle against the infection. Antibiotics are administered intravenously together with fluids because the patient must not eat for a certain time after the procedure. The rupture can be successfully prevented in patients who are already suffering from medical conditions which can eventually result in a rupture. As expected, not all the ruptures can be prevented, but in these cases the prompt reaction and timely surgery can help the patient stay alive.
Colonic irrigation, also known as colon hydrotherapy, is a procedure with the purpose of eliminating feces and toxic substances from the colon. The large intestine is literally flushed with warm water. In spite of being rather safe, this procedure has several side effects. They include dehydration, imbalance of electrolytes, allergic reactions, infections, and in rare cases perforation of the colon.
The patients are given certain advice before the procedure which they must obey. No heavy meals and large amount of beverages are allowed prior to the procedure. The very procedure includes placement of a rubber tube into the rectum. What follows are regular injections of small amounts of water, which will help in loosening of all the waste in the colon. The entire procedure lasts approximately 45 minutes. Supporters of colonic irrigation claim that waste in the bowel may cause a variety of colon diseases. By performing colonic irrigation this risk can be drastically reduced. They also say that people who are suffering from chronic fatigue, allergies, and those with irregular bowel movements, chronic bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome can significantly benefit from this procedure. Still, not everybody shares the opinion of colonic irrigation supporters.
Is Colonic Irrigation a Good Idea before the Surgery?
Irrigation with large amounts of water results in elimination of a lot of bodily fluids. Rapid loss of fluid may lead to dehydration. The person complains of fatigue, which can be evident right after the procedure. Repeated irrigation and draining of the water can result in a loss of certain electrolytes, including sodium, and potassium. This leads to the imbalance of the electrolytes, and the symptoms of hyponatremia, and hypokalemia.
In some cases, the specialist who performs colonic irrigation uses water and certain herbs together. For those susceptible, these herbs may cause serious allergic reactions. This is why it is important to report all the allergies to medications and other allergens prior to the procedure. Another potential complication is an infection. An infection may be caused by contaminated instruments, which can be successfully avoided by adequate sterilization of all the equipment. The most serious complication of colonic irrigation is perforation of the bowel. It may occur due to the increased pressure of irrigated water, or be caused directly by instruments.