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Ask Dr. Arun Phophalia Your Own Question
Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 34998
Experience:  MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
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My 81 yr old mother is in the hospital - has been passing

Customer Question

My 81 yr old mother is in the hospital - has been passing black stool. She has heart issues, triple bypass in the 70's, re-stint and pacemaker in the 90's - had a shunt replaced 2 weeks ago and will eventually need Open Heart surgery to make all better, but had a heart attack 4 weeks ago and is at high risk for any surgery. Black stool showed up a week ago, and they want to do an endoscopy, which is a high risk procedure due to her condition. She is weak and has been in the hospital for 4 weeks and not getting any better. Note: she has a peritoneal cath in her stomach for dialysis that is no longer being used. She has a new hemo cath in her chest for dialysis. Please let me know if we can help direct efforts to help her not have to have risky surgery now.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 8 years ago.


Despite her complicated medical history the endoscopy does not have such a serious risk. On the other hand the black stool means an internal bleeding and if it is not checked, it can be life threatening. So a choice has to be made. A small risk of endoscopy has to be taken so a bigger risk factor can be treated. Hopefully everything would be fine and she would tolerate the procedure well.

Please feel free for your follow up questions.

Dr. Arun

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

At this point, with this bleeding going on for over a week now and no action has been recommended by the docs until now - what other complications could we be facing?

Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 8 years ago.


Anemia and associated complication of congestive heart failure (previous heart condition contributes to it) is a possibility.

It is privilege and pleasure assisting you.

Dr. Arun

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