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Colorectal Diseases

Radiation damage to the intestine

04/21/2008

Question:

What is the best way to repair damage to the intestinal wall from radiation? Bleeding has been continual for over three months. The bleeding started approximately one year after treatments.

Answer:

There is no way to "repair" radiation injury to the bowel, but there are certain treatments that may help with the bleeding. It all depends on what segment of the bowel is affected. For example, a radiation injury to the rectum is more accessible to certain methods of treatment then the small bowel. There are few medications that can decrease bleeding from other areas of the bowel; ask your radiation doctor if any of these methods will help you.

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Response by:

Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Colorectal Surgery Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati