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Ischemic Colitis


Ischemic colitis is a condition that occurs when there is decreased blood flow to your colon. Mild ischemic colitis usually gets better on its own. Severe ischemic colitis can lead to health problems that can become life-threatening. Ischemic colitis may return or become chronic (lasts longer than 2 weeks).


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


Antibiotics may be given to treat a bacterial infection.


  • A CT scan , or CAT scan, will show pictures of the blood flow in your colon. You may be given contrast liquid before the scan. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.
  • A colonoscopy is a procedure that may be done to look inside your bowel. Your healthcare provider will use a scope to look inside your bowel. A scope is a flexible tube with a small light and camera on the end.
  • Blood tests may be done to check for signs of infection, and to find out how bad your condition is.
  • A sample of your bowel movement may be taken to look for signs of infection


  • Bowel rest allows your bowel to heal. You cannot eat or drink during bowel rest, but you will receive nutrition and liquids through an IV. A nasogastric (NG) tube will be placed in your nose and down to your stomach. This tube will be used to remove liquids from your stomach to keep your digestive system empty.
  • IV liquids help prevent and treat dehydration. Electrolytes may be added to the liquids to replace those that have been lost from your body.
  • Surgery may be done to remove dead tissue, repair damage to your colon, or remove part of your colon.


Ischemic colitis may cause a perforation (hole) to develop in your colon. Inflammation may cause your colon to narrow and lead to a blockage. Decreased blood flow to your colon may cause gangrene (tissue death). This can become life-threatening.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Ischemic Colitis (Inpatient Care)

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Further information

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