Gastrointestinal complications of renal transplantation. 2. The colon.
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In 95 consecutive cases of cadaveric renal transplantation followed up for 1 to 83 months (mean 23.1 months) seven colonic complications developed in seven patients; these included ischemic colitis in three, colonic perforation in two, fecal impaction in one and appendicitis in one. Except for appendicitis all the complications occurred within 2.5 months of transplantation and were not related to the patient's age, sex, blood group, or use of cigarettes or alcohol, the duration of hemodialysis before transplantation, the tissue match or the number of infusions of immunosuppressive medication. Two patients died, but not of the complication. In the management of free colonic perforation prompt resection or exteriorization, with avoidance of intraperitoneal suture lines, and continuous postoperative peritoneal lavage may be lifesaving. Early surgical intervention and creation of a colostomy in one of the cases of ischemic colitis proved helpful.