Five female patients ranging in age from 25 to 44 years are reported in whom jejunoileal bypass (three end-to-side and two end-to end), performed for morbid obesity, was complicated 1 1/2 to three years later by symptoms of colonic pseudo-obstruction. In each size, the colon was markedly elongated, dilated, and atonic but with no demonstrate organic obstruction. The cause of this complication is not known. Full thickness rectal biopsy in one case showed normal intrinsic nervous plexuses and ganglia. Serum electrolytes were normal. Functional and defunctionalized small bowel were not involved. Symptoms varied from complete colonic paralysis to incapacitating crampy abdominal pain and distention. In the three patients with end-to-side bypass, dilatation affected the entire colon, while, in the two patients with end-to-end bypass, the dilatation was localized to colon distal to the anastomosis with the defunctionalized small bowel. Resection of the affected portion of colon in one case resulted in recurrence distal to the new site of drainage of defunctioned bowel. Treatment with anti-anaerobe antibiotics in two cases produced dramatic but temporary relief of symptoms.
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