Hong Kong Med J 2003;9:461-3 | Number 6, December 2003
Small bowel perforation after radiotherapy for cervical carcinoma
CP Cheung, HS Chiu, CH Chung
Accident and Emergency Department, North District Hospital, 9 Po Kin Road, Sheung Shui, Hong Kong
Radiotherapy is the treatment of choice for carcinoma of the uterine cervix. We report on a 62-year-old Chinese woman with cervical carcinoma, in whom a small bowel perforation developed 5 months after radiotherapy. Ten centimetres of small bowel, including the perforation site, were resected. No bowel adhesion was detected during the operation. The postoperative course was uneventful, and the patient was discharged home 7 days after surgery. Histological examination confirmed post-irradiation injury. The presenting complaints of patients with bowel perforation following radiotherapy vary, and signs of peritonitis may be absent. Emergency physicians must be alert for these complications in patients who have been treated with radiotherapy.
Key words: Cervix neoplasms; Intestinal perforation; Peritonitis; Radiotherapy
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