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June 1989

Argon Laser Treatment of Radiation Proctitis

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Colorectal Surgery, Suburban Hospital, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Surg. 1989;124(6):749. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410060121027

• Radiation therapy for malignant gynecologic disease and prostatic cancer has resulted in increased survival and cure rates. This modality has unfortunately produced debilitating radiation proctitis. Recently, five patients were seen with continuous rectal bleeding secondary to radiation disease of the rectum. Four of these patients were women who were being treated for cervical carcinoma and one was a man with prostatic cancer. These patients were refractory to steroid retention enemas, iron therapy, and benproperine enema therapy. Treatment was accomplished using the argon laser with a 300-μm fiber passed via flexible fiberoptic sigmoidoscope. The most proximal areas were treated first. One and a half watts at 0.5 pulses was used. Up to 50 pulses were delivered per therapy session. The fiber was placed in contact with the lesion and circumferentially for 0.5 cm surrounding each suspected area. Bleeding stopped in the four women after two sessions and in the man after four sessions.

(Arch Surg 1989;124:749)

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