A perforation is a hole in the wall of the digestive tract. A
perforation may occur anywhere in the digestive tract and may occur
- A crater-shaped sore (ulcer) erodes through the wall
of the stomach or a section of intestine.
- An infection in the
appendix erodes through the wall of the appendix.
- An infection of
an abnormal pouch or sac in the intestine (diverticulum) erodes through the
wall of a section of the bowel.
- A swallowed object punctures the
A perforation of the digestive tract can be life-threatening. It can
cause severe pain and bleeding. The material inside the intestines can leak
into the hollow space of the abdomen (abdominal cavity) and cause an infection
(peritonitis). Emergency surgery is needed when a perforation has
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
January 9, 2013
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