Since its introduction into the practice of surgery in 1934, the long intestinal tube has been of inestimable value in the treatment of various afflictions of the intestinal tract.1 It has been especially valuable in the preoperative and postoperative care of patients undergoing intestinal surgery. However, like any instrument or procedure used in the practice of medicine, the long intestinal tube occasionally has unpleasant and undesirable side-effects associated with its use. Most of these complications are of little consequence and are transient; some, however, are serious and even life-threatening to the patient.
A few of the complications reported following use of the long intestinal tube include: intestinal obstruction from distention of the mercury-filled bag or from intussusception; inability to withdraw the bag and tube from the ileocecal valve; pressure necrosis and perforation of the intestine; tearing of the intestinal wall during removal of the tube; knotting of the tube;
MERSCH WJ, BLOCK MA. Intussusception Following Intestinal Intubation. Arch Surg. 1960;81(6):887-889. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01300060033007