Fixing Colons from the Inside: First in the USA


BALTIMORE, Md. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — It’s the life-saving screening test that fifty somethings dread. A colonoscopy can detect polyps in the colon, but in less than one in every 1,000 cases, there is a serious side effect, the scope pierces through the organ. In some patients, the risk is higher. Now doctors are now able to fix the damage from the inside, saving patients from major surgery.

Sixty-one-year-old Geraldine Barber and her husband, Richard, are poised to retire and they’ve been restoring a 19th century southern home in the Carolinas.

“We’re ready to start the next chapter in our lives together,” Geraldine told Ivanhoe.

That almost didn’t happen. Two years ago Geraldine went in for a routine colonoscopy. She then woke up in the recovery room with nurses and doctors everywhere.

Geraldine described, “I said to myself oh gosh something bad has happened to somebody. There’s an emergency. Never thinking the emergency was me. They explained that my colon was so thin and not in very good shape so that when the doctor went in with the scope to do it, he went in a certain way and went right though.”

In the rare instances where the colon is perforated, surgery is the only option and time is critical.

Sergey Kantsevoy, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, said, “The patient needs to go to operating room, operating room needs to be prepared and during all this time, the contents of the colon are leaking into the abdomen.” (Read Full Interview)

Dr. Kantsevoy is the first surgeon in the United States to fix colon tears from the inside. Using a specialized endoscopic suturing tool, he carefully stitches the opening providing a permanent fix.

Geraldine said the procedure saved her life and allowed her to reach retirement, without health complications.

Dr. Kantsevoy studied other methods of closing the perforations and found that endoscopic suturing was the most effective. He also said the suturing saves thousands of dollars. On average, the cost of fixing a colon perforation with traditional surgery is about $25,000 to $30,000.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising and Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.



 TOPIC:       Fixing Colons from the Inside: First in the USA

REPORT:   MB #4192

 BACKGROUND: Colonoscopies are screening procedures, recommended by doctors starting at age 50. While colonoscopies can detect and remove dangerous polyps, there is also the risk of   some complications.  As the number of colonoscopies increase, the number of colonic perforations does too. In the United States, around 14 million colonoscopies are performed each year. Colon perforation usually occur one in every thousand, so that means that a minimum of 14,000 colon perforations also occur every year.


 TREATMENT: Surgery is the only solution for a colon perforation, and time is critical when this occurs since people can’t survive with a hole in the colon. Patients need to go to the operating room, the operating room needs to be prepared, and during this time the content of the colon is leaking into the patient’s abdomen. The waiting time makes the surgery more difficult and dangerous. Now, there’s a new technique that is being implemented where the perforated colon can be fixed from the inside.

(Source: Dr. Sergey Kantsevoy)

NEW TECHNOLOGY: Dr. Sergey Kantsevoy from the Mercy Medical Center is now treating colon perforated patients with an endoscopic suturing device. This device treats a perforated colon as soon as it occurs by stitching it from the inside. After the procedure, the patient wakes up with no pain. They are given antibiotics and are allowed to go home right after the procedure. With traditional surgery, the patient would need to be in a hospital for a minimum of ten days and have to go through an extensive recovery.

(Source: Dr. Sergey Kantsevoy)


Dan Collins

Public Relations



If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for erjay Kantsevoy, M.D., a gastroenterologist

Read the entire Q&A