ComplicationsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Having carcinoid syndrome can cause the following complications:
- Carcinoid heart disease. Some people with carcinoid syndrome develop carcinoid heart disease. Carcinoid syndrome causes a thickening of the heart valves, making it difficult for them to function properly. As a result, the heart valves may leak. Signs and symptoms of carcinoid heart disease include fatigue and shortness of breath during physical activity. Carcinoid heart disease can eventually lead to heart failure. Your doctor may recommend medications for your heart. Surgical repair of damaged heart valves may be an option in advanced carcinoid heart disease.
- Bowel obstruction. Cancer that spreads to the lymph nodes next to your small intestine can cause narrowing and kinking of your intestine, leading to a bowel obstruction. Signs and symptoms of a bowel obstruction include severe, cramping abdominal pain and vomiting. Surgery may be necessary to relieve the obstruction.
- Carcinoid crisis. Carcinoid crisis causes a severe episode of flushing, low blood pressure, confusion and breathing difficulty. Carcinoid crisis can occur in people with carcinoid tumors when they are exposed to certain triggers, including anesthesia used during surgery. Carcinoid crisis can be fatal. Your doctor may give you medications before surgery to reduce the risk of carcinoid crisis.
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