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Rectal perforation from colonic irrigation administered by alternative practitioners

Doug V Handley, Nick A Rieger and David J Rodda
Med J Aust 2004; 181 (10): 575-576.

To the Editor: Colonic irrigation is the introduction of a large volume of fluid into the colon via the rectum. This volume may be up to 50 litres, run in and out by means of a rectal tube, in an effort to empty the bowel. This treatment is often administered by a practitioner of complementary or alternative medicine, without medical advice.

Doug V Handley
Nick A Rieger
David J Rodda
Article References: 
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Colonic irrigation and the theory of autointoxication: a triumph of ignorance over science [editorial]. J Clin Gastroenterol 1997; 24: 196-198.
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National Health and Medical Research Council Medicine Advisory Committee. Colonic irrigation. Report of the Session (NHMRC) 1982 October Canberra. Canberra: NHMRC, 1982. (Indexed in Australasian Medical Index Jan 2004.)
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Parun H, Butnarug G, Neufeld D, et al. Enema induced perforation of the rectum in chronically constipated patients. Dis Colon Rectum 1999; 42: 1609-1612.
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