colonoscopy associated splenic injury

by Jan Melanson
(yuma AZ)

Had Colonoscopy on 7/19 /13 ended up with ruptured spleen and right lower pain they can't seen to stop the spleen is mending it self but the pain is the side won't seen to go way. Medications they want to give me either make me confused or so sleepy I can't doing any thing.

Dear Jan Melanson,

How unfortunate to have gone in for a small procedure to help identify one condition and end up with a potentially fatal complication like injury to your spleen!

Colonoscopy associated injury of the spleen is very rare, but unfortunately, it does occur. It is the cause of severe left sided abdominal pain after having colonoscopy. The pain would be sharp and continuous ache, worse on movement. A few persons with this injury actually collapse from the pain and blood loss that happens with it.

The injury occurs when the tube of the colonoscope is being maneuvered to pass through the left upper part of the large bowel - called the splenic flexure. The scope pulls on the spleno-colic ligament, leading to the spleen giving way.

Did you get a CT scan immediately to determine the extent of injury to your spleen?
Where the degree of injury is not much, conservative treatment is usually adopted - that is, the use of pain killers while they monitor the recovery of the injured spleen without needing to operate.

In most cases though, an operation is required to either completely remove the spleen or repair the injury where possible.

Thank you for posting your experience with this rare but dangerous complication of colonoscopy here. Hopefully, it will help warn any one who develops a left sided abdominal pain after colonoscopy to seek urgent medical attention to have a colonoscopy associated splenic injury excluded.

Other complications of colonoscopy and indeed the more common ones are perforation or injury to the bowel wall, bleeding and infection following injury.

Thanks once more Jan.

I hope you keep us updated on what happened with you in due course.

Get Well.

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