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Purpose: Stercoral perforation of colon is a rare disease with poor prognosis. But according to recent reports, the incidence of stercoral perforation in the colon seemed to have been underestimated. The reason might be the lack of recognition and overlook by surgeons. The purposes of this study were to represent the definition of stercoral perforation, and to help the diagnosis and treatment of stercoral perforation. M ethods: Among the patients who underwent emergency operation for colon perforation at the Department of Surgery, Korea University College of Medicine, from January 1992 to December 2001, 9 patients were diagnosed as stercoral perforation and their medical records were reviewed retrospectively regarding the clinical characteristics, managements and mortality. Results: The age distribution of the patients was from 32 to 76 years. Male to female ratio was 1.3:1. All patients had history of chronic constipation. Six cases (33.3%) had free air, and 5 cases (55.6%) had fecaloma at preoperative simple X-ray. The site of perforation were sigmoid colon (8 cases) and descending colon (1 case). The size of perforation ranged from 1 cm to 6.5 cm (mean: 3.1×2.7 cm). The methods of operation were Hartmann’s procedure (8 cases), primary repair and sigmoid loop colostomy (1 case). There were two deaths for sepsis. C onclusions: The stercoral perforation is not rare as commonly thought. If elderly patients who had history of chronic constipation and symptoms of panperitonitis visit hospital, surgeon should be aware of the possibility of this fatal disease and do early surgical intervention with the aggressive therapy for reducing the mortality.


Purpose: Stercoral perforation of colon is a rare disease with poor prognosis. But according to recent reports, the incidence of stercoral perforation in the colon seemed to have been underestimated. The reason might be the lack of recognition and overlook by surgeons. The purposes of this study were to represent the definition of stercoral perforation, and to help the diagnosis and treatment of stercoral perforation. M ethods: Among the patients who underwent emergency operation for colon perforation at the Department of Surgery, Korea University College of Medicine, from January 1992 to December 2001, 9 patients were diagnosed as stercoral perforation and their medical records were reviewed retrospectively regarding the clinical characteristics, managements and mortality. Results: The age distribution of the patients was from 32 to 76 years. Male to female ratio was 1.3:1. All patients had history of chronic constipation. Six cases (33.3%) had free air, and 5 cases (55.6%) had fecaloma at preoperative simple X-ray. The site of perforation were sigmoid colon (8 cases) and descending colon (1 case). The size of perforation ranged from 1 cm to 6.5 cm (mean: 3.1×2.7 cm). The methods of operation were Hartmann’s procedure (8 cases), primary repair and sigmoid loop colostomy (1 case). There were two deaths for sepsis. C onclusions: The stercoral perforation is not rare as commonly thought. If elderly patients who had history of chronic constipation and symptoms of panperitonitis visit hospital, surgeon should be aware of the possibility of this fatal disease and do early surgical intervention with the aggressive therapy for reducing the mortality.