BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-220791
  • Reminder of important clinical lesson

Bowel perforation presenting three months after suprapubic catheter insertion

  1. Konstantinos Eleftherios Stergios3
  1. 1Department of Urology, Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, Harlow, UK
  2. 2School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  3. 3General Surgery, Watford General Hospital, Watford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Thomas Stonier, tomstonier{at}
  • Accepted 23 August 2017
  • Published 7 September 2017


An 82-year-old male with multiple comorbidities, including previous laparotomies, had a suprapubic catheter (SPC) inserted under guidance with ultrasound and a flexible cystoscope. Three months following the procedure, having returned for a flexible cystoscopy for ongoing bladder pain syndrome, he became peritonitic postoperatively.

A CT scan and subsequent laparotomy confirmed the SPC to be passing through a section of terminal ileum. The bowel was resected and he recovered well after a long hospital admission. A literature search found this delayed presentation of bowel perforation following SPC insertion to be rare, with only a few other cases reported. In particular, previous abdominal surgery increases the risk of this complication. This case serves as a reminder of the rare but potentially significant risk of SPC insertion and unusually highlights that this may not present immediately.


  • Contributors TS contributed to the conception and design of the study. TS and NS were involved in the planning and data acquisition. TS, NS and EW were responsible for the conduct and reporting. Drafting article was done by TS and EW. All authors equally contributed to the revision of the article, final approval and agreed to be accountable for the work.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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