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Intestine operation on Bachchan

Mumbai, Nov. 30: Amitabh Bachchan underwent a nearly three-hour surgery this evening, apparently in response to either inflammation or perforation of the intestine.

The 64-year-old actor has been shifted to the intensive care unit of Leelavati Hospital after the operation and his condition is stable, sources said.

The actor, who was admitted to Leelavati on Monday, was taken into the operation theatre at 6 pm. He was operated on by a team of doctors led by gastro-intestinal surgeon P. Jagannath. The hospital said it would issue a statement in the morning.

Film producer Manoj Desai said Bachchan was out of danger. “We are thankful to God as Amitabh’s operation was successful,” he said.

Bachchan’s wife Jaya and son Abhishek were present at the hospital, which drew a steady stream of celebrity visitors as news spread.

Hospital sources said Bachchan’s condition could be a case of either perforated peritonitis or diverticulitis. “In perforated peritonitis, the contents of the intestine may leak into the abdominal cavity, causing inflammation in its lining,” a source said.

“The condition is caused either by ulcers of intestine or worms or tuberculosis or typhoid or diverticular projections. Only in rare cases is it life-threatening.”

Peritonitis is an inflammation of the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum. The peritoneum, a thin and clear membrane, covers all the abdominal organs.

Diverticulitis means inflammation of a diverticulum (an abnormal sac or pouch formed at a weak point in the wall of the alimentary tract), especially in the colon.

In cases of perforation, surgery is usually done to remove the intestinal contents that have leaked into the abdominal cavity. Exploratory surgeries are also carried out to determine the exact nature of the condition.

The team of surgeons also removed some of the old tissues that were the remnants of the near-fatal injury the actor had suffered on the sets of Coolie in 1982.

Hospital sources have been saying that Bachchan was suffering from colitis, an acute or chronic inflammation of the lining of the large bowel.

Surgery for colitis is rare. An operation is usually recommended only if it develops into fulminant colitis, a condition when the large intestine could burst. Fulminant colitis is reported in less than 1 per cent of colitis cases worldwide, a senior doctor said.

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