Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Iatrogenic Rupture of the Colon Following Colonoscopy

Ali Ali Asgari, Anahita Sadeghi, Majid Soruri, Naser Ebrahimi Daryani, Reza Malekzadeh


Iatrogenic colonic perforation (ICP) is a rare but serious complication of colonoscopy, with an incidence ranging from 0.016% to 8% depending on the type and purpose of the procedure. Several patient-related, endoscopist-related, and procedure-related factors increase the risk of ICP, which most commonly occurs in the sigmoid colon. Following specific guidelines for colonoscopy performance and quality can help prevent ICP. Early diagnosis is essential, and imaging modalities such as radiography or CT scan may be needed to evaluate the extent of damage. The management of ICP depends on the size and location of the perforation, the presence of peritonitis or sepsis, the underlying colon pathology, and the patient's general condition. Endoscopic, surgical, or conservative methods may be used, but surgical consultation should always be sought urgently. Surgery is usually indicated for large perforations, signs of peritonitis, inadequate bowel preparation, severe comorbidity, failure of conservative treatment, underlying colon disease requiring surgery, transplant recipients, or immunocompromised patients. Laparoscopic-assisted exploration is the preferred surgical technique for ICP. The timing of a follow-up colonoscopy depends on the indication for the initial colonoscopy that led to ICP.


Iatrogenic colonic perforation; Colonoscopy; Peritonitis; Surgery

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