Travis Barker’s hospitalization is reportedly due to pancreatitis after a colonoscopy.
Complications from colonoscopies are rare and pancreatitis after one is almost unheard of.
A gastroenterologist told Insider the story “isn’t true” from a medical perspective.
Now sources have told TMZ the Blink 182 singer has pancreatitis or an inflamed pancreas. The pancreas is a gland on the left side of the abdomen that secretes enzymes that help break down food. It also helps regulate blood sugar, according to: Hopkins Medicine†
TMZ said doctors suspected Barker’s condition was related to a recent colonoscopy. Colonoscopies are a colon cancer screening tool typically recommended every 10 years to intermediate-risk men once they turn 45. Barker is 46.
dr. Eric Goldsteina New York gastroenterologist said that Insider colonoscopy-induced pancreatitis is so rare that the reports “must be taken with a grain of salt.”
“While it may be true that he recently had a colonoscopy, and it may be true that he has pancreatitis, it’s extremely hard to believe they are really cause and effect,” he said.
Most cases of pancreatitis are due to gallstones or alcohol abuse
While complications of colonoscopies are rare, they can include a reaction to the anesthesia, bleeding or a tear in the intestinal wall, the Mayo Clinic reports.
Developing pancreatitis from a colonoscopy is particularly rare, Goldstein said, given the anatomy of where the pancreas is located in relation to the part of the colon examined during a colonoscopy. “It’s not something we take into account,” he said, while damage to the liver or spleen, for example, is.
He said 80% of pancreatitis cases are due to gallstones or alcohol abuse, and most other cases are due to drugs, viruses, or even procedures other than colonoscopies.
“A person with pancreatitis is certainly not unusual. A person having a colonoscopy is certainly not unusual,” Goldstein said. But a person who has pancreatitis because of a colonoscopy “is of no use.”
There are case reports describing pancreatitis after colonoscopy
In a case report 2019, doctors describe a 53-year-old woman who went to the emergency room with abdominal pain and was diagnosed with pancreatitis. Her pain had started two hours after a routine colonoscopy, which came back clean.
But she appeared to develop an inflammatory response to the procedure, forcing her to stay in the hospital for 11 days.
It’s unclear how a colonoscopy can lead to pancreatitis, the doctors write, but it could happen if the colonoscopy tool somehow aggravates the pancreas. Alternatively, it could be a reaction to overinflating the colon during the procedure, too much pressure on the abdomen, or irritation from a burning tool that can be used to remove polyps during colonoscopies.
The authors of the case report write that while pain after colonoscopy is common, pancreatitis should not be overlooked once more common diagnoses have been ruled out. Colonoscopy-induced pancreatitis is an extremely rare phenomenon that is sometimes overlooked, leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment.
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