Gastric perforation



What is gastric perforation?

Gastric perforation was also known as the ruptured stomach which is a hole in the wall of the stomach. It occurs when a hole forms through the stomach. It can be due to a number of different diseases, including appendicitis and diverticulitis. It can also be the result of trauma, such as a knife-wound or gunshot wound. A perforation may also occur in the gallbladder. This can have symptoms that are similar to the symptoms of a gastric perforation.

How common is gastric perforation?

Gastric perforation can potentially affect any individuals. There is no distinct gender predilection both males and females are affected. The condition is observed worldwide; all racial and ethnic groups may be affected.

However, it can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of gastric perforation?

There are a great number of symptoms of the gastric perforation. Some common symptoms may include:

When you have had a gastric perforation and peritonitis occurs, the abdomen feels very tender. Pain often worsens when someone touches or palpates the area or when the patient moves. Pain is generally better when lying still. The abdomen may stick outward farther than normal and feel hard.

In addition to the general symptoms of perforation, symptoms of peritonitis may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Passing less urine, stools, or gas
  • Shortness of breath
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness

When should I see my doctor?

You must seek immediately medical attention if you have these symptoms. Gastric perforation is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical care. The condition is life-threatening. Chances of recovery improve with early diagnosis and treatment.

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consulting with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently.


What causes gastric perforation?

Sicknesses can cause gastric perforation, including:

  • Appendicitis, which is more common among older persons
  • Diverticulitis, which is a digestive disease
  • A stomach ulcer
  • Gallstones
  • Gallbladder infection
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, which is less common
  • Inflamed Meckel’s diverticulum, which is a congenital abnormality of the small intestine that’s similar to the appendix
  • Cancer in the gastric tract

The condition may also be due to:

  • Blunt trauma to the abdomen
  • A knife or gunshot wound to the abdomen
  • Abdominal surgery
  • Stomach ulcers due to taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroids (more common in older adults)
  • Ingestion of foreign objects or caustic substances

Risk factors

What increases my risk for gastric perforation?

The risk factors associated with gastric perforation may include:

  • Blunt trauma to the abdomen
  • Stab wounds to the abdomen
  • Cancer
  • Routinely taking steroids, aspirin, or anti-inflammatory medications (which is common in elderly adults)

It is important to note that having a risk factor does not mean that one will get the condition. A risk factor increases ones chances of getting a condition compared to an individual without the risk factors. Some risk factors are more important than others.

Also, not having a risk factor does not mean that an individual will not get the condition. It is always important to discuss the effect of risk factors with your healthcare provider.

Diagnosis &treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is gastric perforation diagnosed?

The diagnosis of a gastric perforation may involve the following:

  • Complete evaluation of medical history along with a thorough physical exam
  • The following tests may be usually performed to confirm the diagnosis:
  • Complete blood count, which shows an increased white blood cell count
  • X-ray of chest and/or the abdomen
  • CT scan of the abdomen
  • Many clinical conditions may have similar signs and symptoms. Your healthcare provider may perform additional tests to rule out other clinical conditions to arrive at a definitive diagnosis.

How is gastric perforation treated?

Gastric perforation is a life-threatening condition, which requires a speedy evaluation followed by surgical treatment.

A successful surgery is dependent upon the location, size, and duration of the perforation. The sooner the diagnosis and treatment that is carried out, the better is the outcome

Gastric perforation requires immediate surgical attention to restrict further movement or leakage of the gastric content into the abdominal cavity.

  • The surgery can help:
  • Repair the perforation
  • Eradicate the source of infection
  • In some cases, remove parts of the affected organs
  • If a part of the intestine needs to be removed, a colostomy will temporarily be performed to allow proper drainage. A colostomy is a procedure in which one end of intestine is opened into the abdominal wall. Stool moving through the intestine is drained into a bag attached to the abdomen

In rare cases of gastric perforation, the hole spontaneously closes and antibiotics alone may be sufficient treatment.

Lifestyle changes &home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage gastric perforation?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially if you are at high risk, is important. This includes things like:

  • Have good nutrition, or adequate diet
  • Avoid smoking
  • Prevent excessive alcohol use
  • Avoid drug abuse
  • Have good hygiene.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Review Date: December 22, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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