Megacolon Toxicum or Toxic Megacolon is a life-threatening complication resulting from inflammatory conditions of the colon such as the Ulcerative Colitis and IBS. It is the sudden and rapid widening of the large intestine and the colon shuts down. The colon basically inflates like a balloon and continues to inflate until treated and/or removed. The body becomes toxic because elimination of waste cannot occur. Those who suffer from occasional or chronic constipation may feel unwell and uncomfortable, but those conditions are easily treatable. People who have a toxic megacolon is a medical emergency and life-threatening.
This condition should not be confused with slower widening of the colon due to constipation from conditions such as acute colonic ileus, congenital or colonic dilation, pseudo-obstruction. These conditions occur without inflammation or infection.
What are the Symptoms of Toxic Megacolon?
. Pain in the abdomen
. A bloated or distended abdomen
. Tenderness of the stomach
. A fever
. A fast heartbeat (Tachycardia)
. Signs of Septic shock
What are the Complications of Toxic Megacolon?
. Septic shock
. A perforated colon
Treatment of Toxic Megacolon
Emergency treatment has to be administered immediately to decompress the bowel to prevent further distension. If this treatment fails to rectify the problem the patient may need to undergo a colectomy (a partial or full removal of the colon).
Warning: This is a very graphic video of surgery on a patient with Toxic Mega