3 doctors weighed in:

Can infestion cause brain damage my sister had colon cancer surgury she came out that okay but 3 day later she got real sick and the dr said she had a infestion the bowel was leaaking she was in the operating room 4/1/2 hours aftyer the surgury was over s

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: I

I am sorry to hear about how poorly your sister is doing.
I want to make sure i understand your question. Your sister has bowel cancer. She developed a post - operative infection and has been extremely ill. Could the infection have led to brain damage? Of course I do not know very much about your sister's complications. Sometimes an infection in the gut, can travel into the blood. Infected blood travels to the brain, where it can cause harm. Also, when a person is very sick and they undergo surgery, they can have complications with anesthesia, a lot of things can happen. As the body gets sicker it can affect organs other than just the colon, and those organs can either stop working or work poorly. It can become like a snow ball effect. I suggest that you talk to your sister's doctor and ask him or her to explain what has happened. If the doctor uses too many big, medical words, ask him or her to use plain language. I hope this is helpful.

In brief: I

I am sorry to hear about how poorly your sister is doing.
I want to make sure i understand your question. Your sister has bowel cancer. She developed a post - operative infection and has been extremely ill. Could the infection have led to brain damage? Of course I do not know very much about your sister's complications. Sometimes an infection in the gut, can travel into the blood. Infected blood travels to the brain, where it can cause harm. Also, when a person is very sick and they undergo surgery, they can have complications with anesthesia, a lot of things can happen. As the body gets sicker it can affect organs other than just the colon, and those organs can either stop working or work poorly. It can become like a snow ball effect. I suggest that you talk to your sister's doctor and ask him or her to explain what has happened. If the doctor uses too many big, medical words, ask him or her to use plain language. I hope this is helpful.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Thank
Dr. John Fung
Surgery

In brief: It

It sounds as if your sister developed a post-operative complication after her colon surgery with a leak that resulted in sepsis, or systemic infection.
This can lead to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, where multiple organs are adversely affected even if the infection is contained. Depending on your sister's age, other medical problems, she may be more susceptible to the neurological effects of sepsis, generally manifested by psychosis or delirium. Delirium is a common and severe neuropsychiatric syndrome that is acute in onset and fluctuates over time, with accompanying attention deficits and generalized behavior disorders. Delirium affects 10-20% of all hospitalized adults, and 30-40% of elderly hospitalized patients and up to 80% of ICU patients. The management for this includes avoiding unnecessary changes in environment, involving family members, having recognizable faces at the bedside, having means of orientation available (such as a clock and a calendar). There is a limited role for psychiatric drugs in this setting. The kidney damage is likely to be from the multiple organ dysfunction syndrome as well as treatments, such as antibiotics, which can cause kidney damage. In most cases, the kidney will recover.

In brief: It

It sounds as if your sister developed a post-operative complication after her colon surgery with a leak that resulted in sepsis, or systemic infection.
This can lead to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, where multiple organs are adversely affected even if the infection is contained. Depending on your sister's age, other medical problems, she may be more susceptible to the neurological effects of sepsis, generally manifested by psychosis or delirium. Delirium is a common and severe neuropsychiatric syndrome that is acute in onset and fluctuates over time, with accompanying attention deficits and generalized behavior disorders. Delirium affects 10-20% of all hospitalized adults, and 30-40% of elderly hospitalized patients and up to 80% of ICU patients. The management for this includes avoiding unnecessary changes in environment, involving family members, having recognizable faces at the bedside, having means of orientation available (such as a clock and a calendar). There is a limited role for psychiatric drugs in this setting. The kidney damage is likely to be from the multiple organ dysfunction syndrome as well as treatments, such as antibiotics, which can cause kidney damage. In most cases, the kidney will recover.
Dr. John Fung
Dr. John Fung
Thank

In brief: I

I am sorry to hear of her problems.
It sounds like your sister had a problem with healing of the new intestinal connection. An intestinal leakage internally can be very serious and needed the second emergency surgery like she had. Serious internal infections can cause kidney disease or kidney failure. However, I do not know what the relation of her conditions and the cause of her inability to speak or move. Does she have other medical problems or any risk for a stroke? Sometimes kidney failure can slowly improve after a serious illness, and after a serious illness there can be some diminished mental capacity that may slowly improve. These problems can take weeks and sometimes many months of medical treatment and rehab.

In brief: I

I am sorry to hear of her problems.
It sounds like your sister had a problem with healing of the new intestinal connection. An intestinal leakage internally can be very serious and needed the second emergency surgery like she had. Serious internal infections can cause kidney disease or kidney failure. However, I do not know what the relation of her conditions and the cause of her inability to speak or move. Does she have other medical problems or any risk for a stroke? Sometimes kidney failure can slowly improve after a serious illness, and after a serious illness there can be some diminished mental capacity that may slowly improve. These problems can take weeks and sometimes many months of medical treatment and rehab.
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Adam Levy
Board Certified, Obstetrics & Gynecology
34 years in practice
1M people helped
Continue
111,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors