Site of Intestinal Bleeding Located and Successfully Treated
ASHEVILLE, N.C., Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Evangelist Billy Graham was discharged from the hospital early this afternoon and has returned to his mountain home in nearby Montreat, NC, his staff reported. He left by private vehicle and made the 20-minute drive home without incident.
Mr. Graham was brought to Mission Health & Hospitals in Asheville, NC early on Saturday, August 18 for treatment of intestinal bleeding. During the hospitalization, his care was directed by internal medicine specialist Lucian Rice, MD, and gastroenterologist Will Harlan, MD.
The physicians initially thought the bleeding was related to a diverticulum, based on Mr. Graham's history of diverticulosis and the characteristics of the bleeding. However, a colonoscopy on Wednesday, August 22 revealed a non-diverticular bleeding source in the colon most consistent with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). According to Dr. Harlan, the site was successfully treated with cauterization, and there has been no further evidence of bleeding since.
An AVM is a tangle of small blood vessels in the lining of the colon. Bleeding from an AVM may be chronic, causing anemia, or it may be rapid, as it was in Mr. Graham's case. Treatment is usually by cauterization. Only rarely is surgery necessary, and it was not needed for Mr. Graham.
As Mr. Graham recovered, he was closely monitored for signs of ongoing bleeding. Other sites of bleeding were excluded by performing an upper endoscopy and a capsule endoscopy, a new non-invasive method for studying the small intestine. The study did not show any additional areas of bleeding in the small intestine.
Dr. Rice, Mr. Graham's personal physician, said shortly before his
discharge that he believes the evangelist will continue to regain his
strength. "We have been pleased that he has been able to come back from
this incident as well as he has," Dr. Rice said. "He will
|SOURCE Billy Graham|
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