Massive subcutaneous emphysema following colonoscopy

Endoscopy. 1984 Jul;16(4):160-1. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1018566.


A case of massive subcutaneous emphysema following colonoscopic polypectomy is reported. The incidence of colonic perforation following colonoscopy is 0.1% and may be intraperitoneal or retroperitoneal. Intraperitoneal perforation is usually immediately apparent and likely to require urgent surgical exploration. The development of subcutaneous emphysema or a pneumoscrotum suggests a retroperitoneal perforation and in the majority of cases management is conservative. Contrast studies are often unhelpful but plain x-rays may help to distinguish between intraperitoneal and retroperitoneal perforations.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colon, Sigmoid / injuries*
  • Colonic Polyps / surgery
  • Colonoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Emphysema / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Perforation / complications*
  • Male
  • Peritoneum / injuries
  • Retroperitoneal Space
  • Sigmoid Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Sigmoid Neoplasms / surgery
  • Subcutaneous Emphysema / etiology*