Although both endoscopy and angiography have profoundly changed the management of lower GI bleeding, the choice, timing and sequence of these procedures as well as the indications for surgery remain a matter of debate. In cases of massive bleeding, early angiography should be performed as the first choice examination. When this fails, exploratory laparotomy, including peroperative colonoscopy after colonic wash-out, should not be discarded as a diagnostic possibility. If no source of bleeding is identified notwithstanding colonoscopic evaluation in excellent conditions, and it can be assumed that the bleeding has ceased, a conservative attitude may reasonably be advocated.
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