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What is Perforated Bowel?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A perforated bowel is a medical emergency in which a hole in the bowel opens to allow its contents to empty into the rest of the abdominal cavity. The result is frequently sepsis or blood infection, which if not treated can cause almost immediate death. A perforated bowel can occur as the result of traumatic injury, Crohn’s Disease, or diverticulitis.

Symptoms of this condition include high fever and nausea. Those afflicted will also experience extreme abdominal pain which worsens when one moves. Intense vomiting may occur and result in dehydration. These very serious symptoms need emergency treatment, particularly if one has causal factors like Crohn’s Disease or diverticulitis. Those experiencing these symptoms should waste no time in seeing by a doctor.

When one is afflicted with Crohn’s Disease or diverticulitis, doctors tend to evaluate him or her more closely because of the higher risk factor for developing a perforated bowel. Crohn’s Disease is associated with inflammation in all parts of the intestines, which can result in intestinal blockage. Treatment goals include controlling pain and swelling, so the patient experiences less pain. This disease is not curable and involves lifelong management.

Intestinal blockage can cause this condition, because the bowel cannot regularly pass waste materials out of the body and becomes overloaded. Therefore, regular evaluation of the patient with Crohn’s Disease to rule out intestinal blockage is a necessary medical step.

Diverticulitis is inflammation of small pouches in the colon, called diverticula, which can become infected. Abdominal pain that continually worsens is the most common symptom. Infection of the diverticula is generally treated with antibiotics, though in some cases it may require surgery to clean the infected pouches. When untreated, blockage of the colon can cause perforated bowel and/or intestines.

Trauma to the abdominal region, either from compression, such as from a seat belt during a serious car accident, or from puncture, such as a stab wound, are probably the easiest signals that the bowel might be perforated. In these instances, when pain is present and severe, patients will undergo an X-ray and a computed tomography (CT) scan to confirm diagnosis.

In virtually all cases, a punctured bowel requires surgery to wash out the abdomen. The bowel is then repaired. Occasionally, perforation affects the bowel and other parts of the intestine and may require colostomy, in which part of the large intestine is brought into the wall of the abdomen and waste material is excreted into a bag outside the body. This is generally temporary. After surgery, the patient must take strong doses of antibiotics to rid the body of any leftover infection and to prevent recurring peritonitis, in which the cavities surrounding the abdomen and intestines become infected.

Patients who have had a bowel perforation will need consistent follow-up, and treatment for underlying conditions that may have caused the perforation. In many cases, after initial treatment, patients have no recurrence of the condition. Consulting one’s physician about the possibility of recurrence is advisable.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By dannygirl217 — On Aug 27, 2016

My dad started his cancer journey two years ago. He first had mouth cancer and he had to have all his teeth removed, then entire top jaw, and he was able to beat that cancer. He was in remission for about 2-3 months then told now he had bladder cancer. He had the surgery, and everything went well. We had a an appointment in two weeks to make sure the cancer was completely gone. Well I went on vacation and begged my dad to come. He said he wasn't feeling well and had a lot of anxiety, so I didn't want to force him to come.

Well, my vacation started on Monday, and we were leaving on Saturday. Saturday morning right before checking, out my mom calls to tell my dad is in the hospital. They decided not to bother me on vacation because they knew I would of come home right away. He was admitted on Thursday morning. They were told his kidneys had swelled to twice the normal size and put drains in to help with the kidneys. I stop on my way home from vacation on Saturday, and they were doing a enema when I arrived. He wasn't able to have a bowel movement, so they started to try enema's in the meantime. He wasn't feeling so well so we left and came back the following day.

I wasn't able to speak to anyone but the nurse since it was Sunday, so they assured me if I came in Monday morning by 10am the doctors would be there doing the rounds and could explain what was going with my dad. Well on Sunday a doctor did arrive around 6:30pm and I started asking a ton of questions. He then told me he was only a bowel doctor. He said he was there with good news that they had take a CT scan and my dad did not need surgery. They were going to try 2 medicated enemas and that should get his bowels moving. At this point my mind was at ease, so I thought okay I'll get to speak to the doctors Monday morning.

I called my dad first thing Monday to ask how he was feeling and if the enema helped at all. He told me that he still was unable to use the bathroom. So, then he told me they were taking him down for another CT scan, and were trying to see if there was air in him stomach causing the blockage. I called the nurse's station 20 minutes later to say I was on my way and what was happening. She told me my dad was going to be taken back for emergency surgery but had no details.

I rushed to pick my mom up head to the hospital, where I find my father is tears. They realized that my dad may have a perforated bowel and they aren't sure how bad it was. They said surgery would take anywhere from 3-6 hours. After about 45 minutes the doctors call us back to a private room to tell us the bowel was perforated and my father had three to give days left, and there was nothing more they could do. They said the CT scan didn't show anything the day before which is very suspicious.

My dad died of a perforated bowel which led to sepsis three days later. I still have no answers to what happened or why it took so long to figure out his bowel was perforated. I was in complete shock and when my dad woke up I had to tell him that the cancer grew back and he wasn't going to survive. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, and I will not ever forget the look on his face.

The doctors seem to be trying to cover up their mistake by saying the cancer grew back and blocked the bowels and kidneys. If they had read back through my dad's history, someone should have realized that my dad could have a perforated bowel but by Monday, it was too late. They had given my father six enemas before realizing that something was wrong. Those enemas flooded my dad with bacteria which led to sepsis shock. I spent the last few days of his life beside him, holding his hand when he took his last breath.

If I can help 1 person by me telling my dad's story, that could save another person's life. I'm just so mad and confused. My dad has been gone one week today and the pain in unbearable at times. I wish they would have called me while I was on vacation because he would still be alive today if I'd been there. We were supposed to have our final cancer scan done two weeks from today. The doctors missed the signs which in turn, killed my father at 62 years old.

By anon992068 — On Aug 11, 2015

My mum was taken ill in July. She had spent the day at work and was absolutely fine, then at 5:00, just as she was on her way out the door to come home, she felt sick and needed the toilet. She then called me to come pick her up. It took me 20 minutes to get to her and by then she had collapsed in the toilet. The paramedic was with her trying to comfort her as she was in severe pain on the floor in a cubicle. It took another 5 minutes for the ambulance to get to her. They rushed her straight into A&E and did bloods and X-rays and monitored her overnight, but she made no improvement.

At 9:30 a.m. the next morning. she was rushed in for a CT scan in which they found the her bowel had perforated and they immediately rushed her into surgery and she was in there for 6 hours and 30 minutes. When she came out, she was taken into recovery soon after and then into Intensive care. We were told that her bowel had burst, causing septic shock which basically poisoned her and caused her lungs, heart and kidneys to fail. They had attached the stoma bag but we were told that she had a 40/60 chance of survival.

The next night she went even more downhill and we were then told that her body was completely shutting down. Her brain was still functioning, but they couldn't tell how much it was functioning and basically, they didn't know how long the dialysis, ventilator and heart machinery could keep her going. We were basically told she wouldn't make it through the night!

Throughout the night we waited as patiently as possible to hear any news from the nurses and the next morning she had made it through. That afternoon, we saw a slight improvement.

It took two weeks for the actual stoma bag to work and almost three weeks until they were able to bring her around.

She is now home with us and has no idea what she has been through from the moment she fell ill at work until she had been moved from ITU onto high dependency ward three and a half weeks later.

But what me, my mother, my family and the doctors are still to this day wondering about is how my mother had absolutely no signs that this was going to happen. She never suffered with abdominal pain, and very rarely had sickness, bugs, etc.

By anon943991 — On Apr 05, 2014

I need urgent advice. The doctors are baffled how my mother in law is not dead. Two years ago, pain led to bowel removal and then all her large intestine.

Finally, she went home with a colonoscopy bag for life. She had a poor diet, was a chain smoker and addicted to painkillers. She's had another four surgeries for blockages, etc. Then she was rushed by ambulance to have more surgery. She collapsed and her bag was full of blood. They can't find out where it's coming from.

We were all called and told it will be a miracle if she survives and now she is in ICU. She's not awake yet, but she's still here. How?

By anon941482 — On Mar 23, 2014

My dad passed in December 2013 after having his fourth small bowel surgery. The first three were perforated bowel surgeries. The third time they didn't reconnect his bowel because the doctor said his bowel needed to heal without working. So they put a temporary bag at the top of the tear which was at the beginning of his small bowel.

Everything he ate or drank came right out, and he was not getting any nutrition at all. It was supposed to be four months then they would reconnect it. Well, the doctor kept putting off the surgery, saying he was too weak to have it. However, he couldn't get stronger due to lack of nutrients.

They waited about six months and my dad in the meantime was having so many problems with his temporary bag. So they finally decided to reconnect his bowel. My dad was fine for the first five days and then his heart just stopped. It took the hospital nine minutes to bring him back, but unfortunately he was brain dead. The hospital couldn't tell me what happened. They checked for a blood clot but didn't find one. It was the worst thing I've ever done, having to take my Daddy off life support. I have no answer to what happened and why. Maybe he was too weak. Is this type of thing common after these surgeries?

By anon930368 — On Feb 04, 2014

I was a 51 year old woman who had no idea that I had diverticulitis, then in January 2013 I woke up at 5 in the morning with severe lower stomach pain. My husband begged me to go to the hospital but I refused. By midnight I thought I was going to die from the pain, so I agreed to let him take to the ER.

They did a CT scan and told us that I had air in my stomach, but of course we had no idea what it could be. Then the doctor came back in and told us that he had called a helicopter in to fly me to a trauma center where I had emergency surgery.

I had a perforated bowel and an incision from just under my ribs down to the bottom of my stomach. I also had a colostomy bag. I was stable until the fourth day when I went into CHF where I was put into ICU for four days. I don't remember much from the time of surgery until eight days after I had the surgery.

I almost died, but God touched me and after 14 days in the hospital I got to come home still on oxygen. Within six months I was healthy enough to have it reversed. Ever since the reversal, I have had trouble with constipation, vomiting, and a lot of pain. I have to take laxatives all the time. It is beginning to worry me, so I'm going to see another doctor and have more tests done to see if something is wrong. I wouldn't want this to happen to anyone. If you have severe stomach pain you should go to the ER as soon as possible.

I just thank God for being alive. If anyone else is having this kind of problem, please post it. Thanks.

By anon339005 — On Jun 19, 2013

My mum was ill for four days. The doctors came out and we had the paramedics in three times and on the final day they took her in but it was too late. My mother passed away the following evening.

I feel that there was no need for us to lose my mother in this way as she was a very fit, 63 year old lady who lived life to the fullest, so to lose mum like this with a burst bowel was horrific.

Doctors, paramedics and all health care professionals should be looking out for this when people have pain in their bellies. I am so angry with the people who treated my mother for this.

By anon334461 — On May 13, 2013

I had been feeling under the weather for two years and had terrible hip pain. I went for an X-ray and they gave me a name for the hip pain, which I accepted.

I couldn't eat, was tired all the time and lost weight. I thought I had stress. I came back from Mexico four days later. I was having emergency surgery for hole in my bowel and then I had loads of different things wrong with me, so they said I had to stay in the hospital, then they put a tube in my left side to drain a collection of abscesses. That was eleven months ago and I still have the drain in.

I was in the hospital for two months had the district nurse every day for months to clean my two holes. I have a stoma, as well. Now I have a hernia, but I nearly died. Thank God I'm still here.

By anon275263 — On Jun 17, 2012

My mum was admitted to hospital from the emergency room with suspected food poisoning but no treatment was given apart from antibiotics because they said she had pneumonia. She was left for four days vomiting bile, which smelled of feces.

Eventually, she was transferred by emergency ambulance after we insisted they did a scan and she was found to have blockage in her bowel. They did a procedure where she swallowed a tube and brought up loads of bile, etc., and they said they thought this would solve the problem. However, they had to perform surgery where it was discovered she had a perforated bowel near her rectum and a massive abscess. She was in surgery for six hours and there was major concern she wouldn't come around due to other health problems but she did.

The next day she was sitting up in bed sipping water and had been walked by the physio team. We were overjoyed and amazed, but the next day her body swelled up and she went into a deep sleep for three days and couldn't be roused and a doctor said she had a 50-50 chance of survival. She eventually came to and spent two weeks in intensive care supported on oxygen but amazingly, no pain relief apart from paracetamol as they felt she might go back under if stronger pain relief was given.

She was up and down and very weak but managed to speak to us and respond but she eventually passed away in May 2012. We were always told that she had a long road to recovery because of her age (she was 78) and the massive surgery but no one ever said she would not make it. One doctor said after she had nearly passed away one day that she had no infection and that her heart had given up but her death cert showed she died from septicemia!

We are devastated as a family and have so many questions, so we are going back to the hospital at some point, but wonder if she was diagnosed earlier would it have made a difference and although she seemed to present with septicemia the day after the surgery (the swelling in her body disappeared), we were told she had no infection in her body. Can anyone suggest anything, please?

By anon273885 — On Jun 09, 2012

I don't understand my condition at all. I never took aspirin never had pain, until four days leading up to emergency surgery. My stools were normal I and went to the toilet every day as normal. There was nothing to show I had a perforation.

All of a sudden I had a bit of pain which I thought was period pain (normal for me). It gradually got worse and I went to the hospital. By the time I got there no one could touch anywhere near my kidneys. One hour later after an X-ray and scan I was in surgery. How does this condition escalate so rapidly?

By anon267732 — On May 11, 2012

My grandfather died of this. He had problems for over a year but the doctors could not find nothing. When he went to the hospital, he was diagnosed with diverticulitis. The doctors would not do surgery.

My papaw was 91 but was a tough old bird and I know if he would have had surgery, he would have made it through it.

I feel that the doctors just did not want to do the surgery and that is wrong, Even though he lived a long life, he could have been here a few more years.

By anon266430 — On May 05, 2012

To those ladies who had the hysterectomy I can so relate. Six years after having my hysterectomy I had been living in pain for years. I was told I had celiac, told I had ovarian cysts (I had one ovary left). I was rushed to the ER by my husband because of intense abdominal pain. I looked seven months pregnant.

Two and a half days later they thought that my small intestine had perforated. I had 200cm of small intestine removed, then spent weeks in ICU and on a surgical floor. My kidneys completely shut down. Two years later I'm still having complications. I was told this resulted because of an error during my hysterectomy.

By anon266164 — On May 04, 2012

I have had three open surgeries in 2000 and 2002. First diverticulitis with a colostomy bag, which was then removed.

In 2002, I had a ventral hernia laparoscopic procedure which ended up being open surgery due to them puncturing my lower intestine.

While at the hospital,my vitals were normal, but my first time home, I had severe spasms in my left thigh and calf only and severe pain in my left lower back. Could a puncture to my lower intestine or having three surgeries in same abdominal area cause this awful spasms that I continue to have from ventral hernia surgery that went south?

The surgeons call it a mishap, accident or unforeseen event. If anyone should read this please post back to me.

By anon250427 — On Feb 25, 2012

Update from post 101: It's been a little over a year now since my last post. I did get my jejunostomy reversed and very thankful that was able to happen.

I just wanted to say, trust your instincts. It's your body and you know when something is wrong. Make sure you research your doctors and always get a second opinion.

I made the mistake of trusting my doctor. I didn't question too much because I thought she knew what she was doing. So that's what I would like to pass along to you.

By anon248931 — On Feb 19, 2012

I've been home from the hospital for two weeks now and I'd like to tell you what happened. I had a colon resection in 1993, and an ileostomy in 1995 as a result of a dead colon because of dead cells and no function. For the past five years I had been feeling quite ill with a lack of energy and occasional vomiting. I started to gain weight even though I was exercising on a regular basis. After gaining 50 pounds (on a 140 frame) it was then that I found that my thyroid stopped working. After getting eltroxin, I started to feel a bit better, but something was still wrong. Brown fluid began leaking from my rectum. (My rectum and colon remained in after the ileostomy.)

Holes were developing all around my rectum, and I began my first of many visits to my doctor for this particular reason. After seeing many specialists here and in Toronto, and after MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds, colonoscopies, not one specialist could find anything wrong.

I have been seeing a psychiatrist for many years now. He has been aware of these events for several years. In the beginning of December, I went to my regular appointment in total pain. I told him that if something could not be found, I would not live like this any more. He immediately admitted me to the psychiatric ward at our best hospital. I was admitted within 30 minutes. The next day my psychiatrist came to the hospital and ran into two of our best surgeons at the same time. One took my case while the other worked with him.

They redid all my tests, only to find everything was wrong. My fistulas had burrowed up my rectum into my lower abs and I required rectal surgery. This was done after Christmas. A few days later I went into septic shock. I needed blood transfusions and irrigations through my dead colon tucked beside my ileostomy stoma to prepare for another surgery. (To this day I don't know why that wasn't removed in 95.) My temp rose over 39 degrees Celsius and I can barely remember the days before having another surgery on my stomach. Everything in my lower abs had to be removed.

After two months from the day I entered the hospital, I am finally home, happy and a little sore, but thankful to my psychiatrist, my surgeons, and the many nurses who helped to keep me as comfortable and calm as the possibly could. I'm grateful to be alive!

By anon233618 — On Dec 08, 2011

I am a 35 year old woman and a year ago to this week I was in hospital having my perforated bowel sewn up.

After undergoing treatment for cervical cancer, I was recovering at home, hoping all was better. I woke up at 5 a.m. with the most intense pain. Due to the day's previous treatment, I thought that it must be connected so went back to to the hospital.

The young doctor was lovely, but tests showed there was nothing wrong within that area, however they could see some fluid at the top of me pelvis. So then they had to call for another doctor, to then be told I should have gone to a&e at another hospital.

The pain by now was terrible, I was put on a drip and given drugs. After being sent to another hospital and waiting through the night, I was taken to surgery where on inspection, it was discovered I had a perforated bowel.

After four and a half hours in surgery, they had fixed my bowel. Someone must have been looking over me that day as I needed no stoma, but was told I was very lucky to be alive!

I had no idea about anything relating to this. It's taken months of doubt and determination (I have two girls) to get through this, with no help from the hospital.

It has truly been the worst year of my life, but I'm getting through it. Take care and be strong!

By anon231391 — On Nov 24, 2011

I am a worried aunt of a five day old baby girl. Just two days ago she was diagnosed with having Hirschsprung Disease, so a colostomy was necessary. Today the procedure was done, but than they came back with the horrible news that her intestine was ruptured during the process and that liquid leaked into her stomach, so it was washed out and her rupture was sealed. However,

I am panicking that something horrible can happen to her. She is just five days old and has been through so much and is on plenty of antibiotics.

I have not found much about infants going through things like this and was wondering if anyone can help me out by informing me a bit more.

By anon230014 — On Nov 16, 2011

I had gallbladder removal surgery done in 2009. My small intestine was perforated and I lay there in the hospital two days before someone detected a problem. My niece refused to take me home and argued with a nurse, who insisted that she should take me home because my insurance would not pay.

She also charted that I was up walking around and eating upon her discharging me. But to this day I do not remember anything except going in for surgery. Two days later, I flatlined and had to have emergency surgery to repair a perforated small intestine. I was in ICU for about two weeks and in the hospital about six to eight weeks. This is what I was told by my family.

It is now two years later and I am not back to work. I am still taking pain medication because I am still having abdominal and lower back pain. Is there anyone who has experienced this problem and are you still dealing with pain.

By anon218581 — On Sep 29, 2011

Three weeks ago, I had laparoscopic surgery for removal of adhesions, suffered badly from the anesthetic and was kept in overnight. During surgery they discovered inflamed bowels they wanted investigated further.

I was sent home next day but during that night I deteriorated and was rushed in by ambulance, and taken straight to the operating room for bowel perforation surgery. My blood pressure dropped so badly in the OR I was admitted to ICU and spent a week there before spending another week in the ward.

I am now home and on road to recovery with a stoma bag. I was told that had I not called an ambulance when I did I would have died in hours. Everything happened so fast for me that I am still reeling from the shock and hope that I heal and have no further problems. I feel for those who do have complications and hope you all can get it sorted out.

By Sonya5speed — On Aug 20, 2011

I went into hospital Sept 2009 for a keyhole fistula flap, etc., and they perforated my bowel and found a mass they did emergency open surgery and I ended up with a ileostomy, an ileocecal resection, etc. I recovered from that then got a massive incisional hernia, had that repaired in June 2010 and then I started leaking through the perianal fistula again.

I just had my loop ileo refashioned to an end as they think it may be caused by overflow but am still leaking and have lower abdo pain. After reading all your posts (Hugs to all who have suffered from so many negligent surgeons), I am scared as to where the leaking is coming from must be a hole inside somewhere can perforations reoccur. Any ideas?

By anon186704 — On Jun 15, 2011

I would like to add for those who have asked about what medications cause perforations:

Prednisone, methotrexate, endocort - basically any auto immune treatment type medicine is known for making the bowel flimsy and easily susceptible to perforation. When taken in large doses over long periods of time (ie several months) the damage these drugs do is irreversible - prednisone led to my bowel perf.

Tylenol, pain killers, ibuprofen, etc - Ibuprofen and aspirin are known for causing gastric upsets because they attack the stomach lining, making gastric/duodenal ulcer perfs more likely. Pain killers (narcotic) do not necessarily cause the perforation but will greatly mask their symptoms. I met a lady with severe ulcerative colitis who had abused Vicodin for several years due to her condition. Her bowel perforated and no pain medication in any amount would relieve her pain! She ended up having an epidural.

Also - for you smokers out there - the chemicals in nicotine modify the internal mucosa causing the intestinal mucous to attack itself - if you suffer from Crohn's, IBD, colitis, etc. you are setting yourself up for a perforation!

By anon186695 — On Jun 15, 2011

I was 18 years old when my small bowel perfed due to Crohn's disease. I had extreme pain in my lower back and was having trouble urinating, went to the ER diagnosed me with a urinary tract infection and was sent home.

Four days later I returned to the ER in the most horrific pain of my life. I could not move, I was running a high fever, vomiting and not passing any stool. They did an xray, found free air in my abdomen admitted me to the hospital and gave me an NG tube saying my bowel would "heal itself" if the stomach was drained.

Three days post NG tube, my heart rate dropped to 38, my liver and kidneys were practically shut down, they life flighted me to a hospital 50 miles away where I immediately went into surgery. Doctors told my parents I would most likely not live through the surgery due to the high amount of sepsis in the blood and tremendous spillage in the abdomen. All in all, potentially seven days of a bowel perf (four for certain) had done horrific damage inside.

Well, I lived, obviously, or else I would not be writing this. Four days in a chemically induced coma, three feet of ileum, partial liver removal, an ileostomy and lower left lobe of my lung all gone. I stayed 32 days in the hospital being fed on TPN. Huge scar on my abdomen from where they left me open. I was not sewn shut. I had the ileo taken down seven months later.

Bottom line is: fight for your rights. Only you know how you feel, and your body tells you when something is wrong. I was only 18 but that damn hospital nearly killed me. Don't take no for an answer. Seek a second opinion if you are not satisfied. I was naive and learned my lesson. Don't let this happen to you.

By anon180658 — On May 26, 2011

i had an hysterectomy and my bowel was cut. now I am in pain for years since 2007 with no feeling in my back passage. I wish i was dead. i only went in for a hysterectomy.

By anon179101 — On May 23, 2011

I had a colon resection in a private hospital for endometriosis on the bowel. Eight days post op, I developed peritonitis and was admitted to the ER. I was drugged up to the hilt and put into a coma so the drugs could be administered with brute force to hopefully keep me from another surgery, however, on Day 11, I was given a emergency surgery with a washout (they clean out your internal organs to remove all the pus and infection) and an ileostomy was created. (The first incompetent surgeon did not sew me up correctly and this resulted in the perforation).

I wasn't taken seriously about my pain levels while recovering from the first op in the private hospital, and my family all thought I looked unwell, so when things went bad, you can imagine how peeved my husband etc were. I had a very long, six month recovery, and I have only just had the ileostomy reversed, by the fabulous surgeon who completed the initial ileostomy and life saving operation.

I was a very fit and healthy woman prior to all these dramas, and now I have some fabulous scars and am still in a lot of pain post ileostomy take down, and unfortunately will always have the fear of another leak.

It happened quickly for me. I literally woke up that wednesday morning and felt very unwell. I passed out when I tried to get off the toilet, and then collapsed in my bed. I couldn't handle being touched on my stomach, or moving in any way. Don't wait for the symptoms to progress. I was fortunate to get to the ER and be diagnosed so quickly, only because of the prior bowel resection. However, had I left it any longer I was told I would have died. A month in hospital; it was pretty horrific. Be your own advocate, or trust your family to do it for you.

By anon172363 — On May 03, 2011

Anyone else on here been on nexium, for years, maybe 5?

By anon166901 — On Apr 10, 2011

I'm pretty new here and I am two and a half weeks out of the hospital after having an episode where the doctors found free air floating around outside of my belly.

I sympathize with one other person here who passed out because the pain was so bad. I woke up one morning and my entire lower abdomen was in intense pain. It was 4 am and I tried to go back to sleep thinking it was just my menses acting up. The pain kept on until 7 in the morning. I tried to drink water and eat a banana to make me a little stronger so I could get up, but I felt like throwing it all up. My fiance had to help me crawl into the elevator and before getting to the car I passed out in the elevator.

My fiance called the EMTs and I was taken to the emergency room where they put me through all kinds of tests then a CT scan where they found free air outside of my bowels. Problem is, they couldn't see where it came from. I got better real fast in the hospital (though I was running a low fever) and they insisted on doing a test on me the next day. They found nothing the next day, no air, no nothing.

I'm a 25 year old female, just recently quit one job and was afraid to follow up with the doctor because of medical costs. I still don't know what went wrong, but I'm putting myself through a fasting period with lots of liquid and healthy foods and working out my abs so that my core is strong.

I still feel a bit weak at times and my situation was pretty much a mystery to my doctor. I had no trauma, surgery or sexual assault done to me, and there was this free air -- there one day and gone the next. Any suggestions?

By deniseheiser — On Apr 05, 2011

I just recently found this site and I'm very grateful to see that I'm not alone. I am 44 years old and this nightmare started in July 2010. I was married in June and in early July I was hospitalized for fluid around my heart and lungs. I was put on high doses of IV steroids and morphine. I hadn't had a bowel movement the whole time I was there, for seven days. I told them that I was diagnosed with Crohn's and IBS but I guess that wasn't a concern. I continued to tell them no b/m, and how bad my back was hurting but they said they did not see anything.

After being discharged and still no luck going, I took it upon myself to do everything I possibly could myself. The stomach pain, nausea and bloating was getting worse and worse. I tried suppositories, enemas and castor oil, but nothing. Finally, after eight more days of this, I was rushed to the hospital, this time a different one. The next thing I remember is waking up in ICU after having an emergency surgery for a perforated colon and peritonitis. I was lucky to be alive. I had a colostomy, an NG tube and was in very bad shape. I was in ICU for 10 days due to complications, still unable to move my bowels, and then moved to a room for four more days. Finally, after being discharged, I had to try and adjust to my new way of life, having a 17-inch open incision to heal, and a colostomy bag. I was very very grateful to be alive, however the depression wasn't easy!

After three months of healing time, they decided to do the reversal. Once again I woke up in ICU, due to a large amount of scar tissue and adhesions being removed, had an NG tube in for five days and having MRSA. After spending another 14 days in the hospital, I thought I was on the road to recovery. At least I was trying to stay optimistic. That was early November and I was never quite right afterward and continue to go backward!

I have severe pain at the stoma site, constant nausea, severe bloating and gas, no appetite, gained 25 pounds, can't move my bowels for days at a time and this is with taking stool softeners and Benefiber two times a day. Then I go to the uncontrollable diarrhea. I'm literally scared to go out without some security on. That's if I feel strong enough to go anywhere. I can't believe how this has affected mine and my family's lives!

I'm so discouraged right now, but I'm going to a new GI this week. Maybe they'll be able to help me. I take so many different kinds of stomach meds, but for what? I don't think anyone can possibly understand what this horrific health issue does to you and your loved ones unless you've experienced it first hand! I don't wish this on anyone!

My prayers and thoughts are with each and everyone one of you! I wish you a healthy and speedy recovery!

By anon163925 — On Mar 29, 2011

I seriously believe that the doctors and surgeons will not operate on the elderly patients. my mother died of peritonitis at the age of 87 due to a perforated bowel. the x ray showed blockage and perforation on the morning she was admitted. she was left to die the following day. they just don't care. But what goes around comes around!

By anon163698 — On Mar 28, 2011

I am four weeks from an emergency operation for a burst small intestine. I was lucky to see the doctor after two days of pain, and my temperature spiked in a&e. They cut 10 cm of my small intestine in an emergency operation. The large intestine was too inflamed to disturb.

I spoke to another consultant about a year ago who said I had a twisted gut problem, completely ignored me and informed me I had more chance of getting a heart disease in 10 years (I am only 38) at a weight of 12 stone than end up in hospital with a perforated bowel.

Now that same consultant who didn't even examine me at the time is to check me with a camera in a couple of months after the operation.

I am slightly concerned he is going to miss the obvious again. At least my toilet habit is now once a day, the pain is less and I am just lucky to be alive for my kids who are all still under seven and need their Daddy alive and well.

By anon159550 — On Mar 12, 2011

I am at the end of a one and half year process. In Sept 2009, I went to the ER for extreme abdominal pain. I got an MRI. DIagnosis: Perforated Bowel. Immediate surgery was performed by an excellent medical team.

I had a colostomy for over three months, since my bowel had to be sectioned. I had a huge vertical incision on my abdomen. Then I had the colostomy removed and my intestines re connected. Same wonderful surgeon.

Over the next year I developed two big incisional hernias, and in March of 2011 I had this repaired. There has been some severe pain and disruption, but I am recovering and so grateful after all I have been through.

The same surgeon did the third operation. He saved my life and now I am prepared to go on healthier and stronger. Important: If you have severe abdominal pain, are throwing up, cannot relieve yourself, do not wait! Go to the ER and get scanned immediately. Time is crucial. Do not listen to those who warn you against going to the hospital. Go immediately. your life depends on it. Delaying could lead to severe infection, organ damage, and death.

By anon159519 — On Mar 12, 2011

My Mum died at the beginning of March after walking into endoscopy department. The doctor's report said a stone was removed from bile area. That punctured her (CT scan performed seven hours after arriving at A & E. revealed this.) I have a letter from same hospital dated November, 2010, saying she did not have a stone? Then 48 hours after an Endoscopy, she was dead. She was 66. An inquest has been opened by the coroner. Please, please stake these walk-in/walk-out situations seriously. RIP Muma.

By anon157867 — On Mar 04, 2011

guys i need your help. my grandfather has come back from surgery for a perforated colon and his condition is worsening. if anyone knows of any doctors in the laredo,tx area, please post.

By anon151764 — On Feb 11, 2011

I had a hysterectomy done in August of this year. A few hours after getting home I developed the most horrible abdominal pain. It was a constant pain and felt like I was being stabbed.

It took ten days in the hospital with different doctors and multiple tests to figure out they had perforated my bowel.

Even at that time I was not told what had happened only that I needed to go back for a exploratory surgery.

I woke up in ICU and was told then that I had a perforated bowel. I was told it had been fixed.

Another ten days after that, I started leaking stool out of my incision. Nobody said a word except I would have to go in for another exploratory surgery.

At this point, my family and I decided we should get a second opinion. We found a doctor who specialized in this. He agreed to take over the surgery.

Again I woke up from surgery in ICU, but three days later. I found out I had almost died and it was a miracle I was alive.

I had gotten a jejunostomy and was in the hospital for a total of 45 days from beginning to end.

I still have it to this day. Although it can and will be reversed, I have to wait six months before we can do that.

This has all just been so crazy. It's been horrible for both me and my family. I was in so much pain for so long and now I have to deal with the after effects. I'm so happy to be alive but it's hard to live knowing that someone you trusted did this to you.

If I could help anyone my symptoms were: Swelling (gained over 30 pounds in a few days); constant rapid heart rate (for ten days straight); shallow breathing (hard to breathe constantly); abdominal pain (constant stabbing pain).

If you have any of these symptoms after surgery, go to the ER.

Another important thing is this didn't show up on multiple CT scans. I had to do a special CT scan where a fluid goes through your digestive system (sorry don't know what it's called) That's what showed a leak.

Don't let them tell you it's just gas from the surgery either. Hope I can help. I hope and pray none of you have to go through this.

By anon149820 — On Feb 05, 2011

If anyone has persistent alternating constipation and diarrhea and has never been tested for celiac disease, it might be worthwhile to get that test done. It can be misdiagnosed as a whole group of other conditions, but the only treatment for it is a restricted diet that eliminates gluten. There are no medications for it yet. If the diet is followed however, many people will heal of all symptoms for good.

By anon143820 — On Jan 17, 2011

I am a male 48 years old, living in Texas in otherwise good health generally.

I was in the ER five days ago with serious abdominal pains. The pain was a constant dull, the day before, but on the day I went to the ER it almost caused me to lose consciousness. I was diagnosed with diverticulitis with a ruptured diverticulum through the bowel that was "contained" by what the attending doctor/surgeon said was fatty tissue in my abdomen surrounding the perforation/rupture. It is as if my body prevented me from going me from septic. My peak body temp was 102F the night before I went to the ER.

I was admitted for three days and two nights. I was pumped with IV fluids, and two kinds of antibiotics for my entire stay. My fever never recurred to any great extent and I was sent home with two weeks worth of antibiotics (two kinds) and vicodin (which I won't take because of constipation). I was NPO (nothing by mouth) for about 24 hours after I hit the ER. I never vomited or experienced a lot of nausea and the frequency of sharp pain is less. I have been asked to schedule an appointment with the surgeon where I will then also be scheduled for a colonoscopy. I am assuming we will also discuss the possible course of treatment for me. It is likely that the damaged section will be removed and I will be reconnected.

I was sent home with no dietary restrictions and have been ramping up my diet to include "normal foods" that contain more fiber on a gradual basis. So far it is all going pretty well in terms of pain management and my original symptoms have not recurred except for periodic sharp pains in the lower left ab. quadrant from time to time that seem to dissipate in less than 20 seconds. The only drugs for pain have been morphine pushes for the first 36 hours and then Norco tablets for the last part of my stay.

At home, I had a couple of Vicodin (which I discontinued due to its constipating effects), and Tylenol by mouth as needed. My overall pain level seems to be a constant, dull 2-3 with some 7's when I am having what I call periodic cramps.

My questions concern my future prognosis and my exact course of treatment. I don't want to just let things happen. Since the infection has been contained, I want to be actively involved in planning my treatment strategy since we are apparently not in a crisis treatment mode.

What are the risk factors concerning this removal and re-sectioning of my bowel? What are the chances this will make my condition even worse? I want to go in to speak with the physician armed with questions, and would like some feedback from those that have posted here concerning best questions to ask before I sign off on this invasive surgery.

One common theme I seem to be reading from these posts is how the "fix" often results in a worsened condition and sometimes death. One big question that I have is whether or not I should demand someone that is renowned in colon surgery? This seems like an area where high specialization and past experience with my exact condition is someone I would want wielding a surgical knife on my belly. I want a surgeon who has successfully dealt with my exact situation more than once.

By anon140799 — On Jan 08, 2011

My dad has had Crohn's disease since he was a teenager. When he was 15 he had a perforated bowel, and luckily the doctors and surgeons were able to save him. He went on fine for many years, until last November.

He went to the ER to control his large intestine. They gave him pain medication and other meds. None of it worked as well as it should have. In the span of the last four months, he has gone to the hospital eight times. I wondered why something wasn't being done. Obviously nothing they were doing was helping.

They decided not to remove the infected part of his colon, but instead they tried to give him more medicine. Not too long after, he went back to the ER with a perforated bowel. He was airlifted to another hospital.

I'm still waiting to see if he makes it through. So sorry to anyone who has lost someone dear to bowel perforation. My advice for everyone is to make sure you see the doctor if you have weird abdomen pains. Don't wait too long before the infection becomes uncontrolled.

By anon139841 — On Jan 05, 2011

my mom went to the hospital on christmas day and on the 29th she passed away due to a perforated bowel and septic shock. she only complained of pain for two days. me and my family were really close. you will be missed mother.

By anon139425 — On Jan 04, 2011

Andrew: My dad died three weeks ago due to a perforated bowel. He contracted it on Wednesday afternoon and by Friday 4.15 p.m. he was dead.

Could anybody out there help me on some info? Three weeks prior to this, he was in rehab for a amputation of the lower leg and coming home in 4 days. The doctor accidentally prescribed an extra dose of Warfarin. That night he was rushed to hospital for bleeding out the gums and skin. One week after that he developed a chest infection and was recovering until that Wednesday when that death sentence was put on him. They could not operate because of his weak heart.

Could someone please tell me could the warfarin episode have started and weakened the bowel from wall bleeding?

By anon138925 — On Jan 03, 2011

Wow! I had a hysterectomy back in 05. Soon thereafter, I began to bloat, couldn't go #2 and had lived on miralax and castor oil, per my Gastro doctor's orders. I am now a stage 3 cancer patient. I had surgery to remove my cancer. Four days later, I was back in ER with high fever and nausea.

Prior to the cancer diagnosis, I had gained 60 lbs, and am only 5'2! I weighed 190 lbs. The bloating came and went but the weight never did. The doctor who did the hyster kept telling me I really was sick (because by now I was thinking it was all in my head. He wouldn't admit the fact he nicked my bowel, thus causing the perforation, no he let me suffer. Many trips in and out of hospital for sepsis. I am a miracle.

After catching said doctor in one too many lies, I changed oncologists. This new doctor found the perforation only after he began the cancer surgery. From what I have been reading here, there is no, zero, zilch accountability from these doctors! Why is that?

Why must we almost die, or die from their mistakes because they are unwilling to 'own it'? I had my gastro doctor tell me he would not do surgery after the other doctor made the mistake?

I no longer trust any medical doctor, yet I must go on. I must fight for my life. I am in severe pain with this stoma bag and see a pain management doctor. This doctor is not used to treating cancer patients! His specialty is doing nerve blocks! I am a 'bother' to him. I am currently taking radiation and being asked "how are your bowels?" Are you kidding me? How would I know? I have a bag on. for goodness sakes.

I am only in my late 40's. I am fighting for my life, and there is only one physician I trust now: Jesus Christ. At times my pain is so great I think of just ending it all! Fighting the cancer is bad enough, but living with the screw up of another doctor is beyond belief.

I am so angry and hurt. These pain management doctors aren't worth a flip either. I just pray daily God sees fit to heal me totally. I am over it all. I am so tired I cannot stand it. Good luck and deep sympathy to those who have passed due to doctor's negligence that attorneys won't even handle. Sad, very sad.

By anon137293 — On Dec 27, 2010

My mother just had a foot of her colon removed due to a perforated colon resulting from diverticulitis. She has suffered off and on from diverticulitis for the past two or three years, and had been complaining of abdominal pain for about two months.

Her doctor called in an antibiotic for her about two months ago at her insistence for a self-diagnosed "attack of her diverticulitis." She wound up in the ER and emergency surgery.

Her prognosis is good, but she is lucky. Do not wait to go to the ER!

By anon130681 — On Nov 29, 2010

my beautiful mother was in respite for dementia for eight weeks. the last three weeks her stomach was swollen. She was feeling sick, not eating and her stomach was bloated. I constantly asked why. I was told constipation with overflow.

I took her into hospital in February 2009. She was given antibiotics. The following morning I had a call from the hospital to say that she was having an operation. I arrived to find her dying.

I had an enquiry into her death with the ombudsman. Also the x ray taken on the morning showed blockage and perforation. I have now gone back to the ombudsman. I feel so broken and depressed to think that she could have been saved. She was neglected. I am now having counseling.

By anon130394 — On Nov 28, 2010

My 75 year old mother went to the hospital for routine gallbladder removal surgery. During the laparoscopic procedure, the surgeon punctured her bowel. He told us that repaired it with a few sutures and that she would be fine.

By the next morning she was in severe abdominal pain and vomiting bile nonstop. She was taken to emergency surgery and had her intestine resectioned off. The resection never healed and her bowel continually leaked. She suffered for 81 days in ICU without eating a drop of food. She was kept alive on IV liquids. She ultimately died from septicemia.

I will never get over this devastating loss for as long as I live. The mortality rate is very high if your bowel is perforated. Good luck and my prayers go out to anyone or any family dealing with this type of injury. Pray for a miracle!

By anon122655 — On Oct 28, 2010

I was receiving steroid injections for lower back pain. Three weeks after my last shot, I passed out and was taken to the hospital with septic shock due to perforated colon.

We researched this and were surprised to find that there is a direct connection between corticosteroids and perforation of the colon even with mild cases of diverticulosis (which virtually everyone has). I wonder why this is not talked about more or warned of? I had no idea of this known medical connection till I almost left this world! Without emergency surgery and the grace of God, I would not be here.

I lost all of my sigmoid colon and have a (probably reversible) colostomy but I am thankful to still be alive. My sincere condolences to those of you relating stories of lost loved ones.

If you have abdominal bloating and pain, especially if you are taking steroids, go get treatment now. I almost didn't make it and from reading the posts, far too many people didn't. Don't mess around with this and if you are getting glucocorticosteroids in shots for pain, believe me, try to live without them of find another alternative. This is serious stuff!

By hec — On Oct 17, 2010

My 76 year old mother had routine ERCP in early October. She was admitted to hospital three days later with a perforated bowel. She has had surgery to repair the tear, but has septicemia, peritonitis and some complications re kidney and lungs. She is in ICU on a ventilator. The doctor seems positive but I fear they are not being honest about the prognosis.

By anon118306 — On Oct 13, 2010

My baby brother walked around for months complaining of constant pain in the abdominal area. Finally he was rushed to the ER after vomiting and complaining of extreme stomach pain. Emergency surgery was performed due to a perforated bowel in mid-September. He came out of surgery and only lasted 13 days days with the disorder. He died and the official cause of death was listed as "perforated diverticulitis and sepsis". What a horrible way to die.

I am so mad because the doctors couldn't save him. He may have lived if he'd gone to the doctor sooner. A note to all men: Please see your doctor regularly, or at least yearly for a check-up. Rest in peace my beautiful brother. I love you!

By anon113305 — On Sep 23, 2010

I have to count my blessings. I was in a very serious car accident in 1991 and had a "lap belt" injury. I perforated my bowel in seven places and was not supposed to make it through the night.

I am healthy now, 19 years later. My condolences go out to those who have lost loved ones and blessings to all those who have suffered this pain.

By anon113039 — On Sep 22, 2010

I just lost my precious mother in August 2010 from sepsis that resulted after her bowel was punctured during routine gallbladder surgery. She was 75 years old and fought for her life for 81 days in ICU.

The emergency surgery to repair the bowel was unsuccessful, since she leaked every time the doctors tried to feed her clear liquids. The TPN (nutrition delivered in a central line in her neck) gave her a fungal blood infection since it is loaded with sugar, and just about every complication you can imagine occurred, including severe bilateral pneumonia in the end. It was a horrific death full of pain and suffering, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

A perforated bowel is a serious, life threatening illness and it seems that "youth" needs to be on your side in order to recover.

By anon111906 — On Sep 18, 2010

I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2006, had gallbladder surgery in 2006, renal stone removed in 2006. I did not tolerated ulcerative colitis med. I have constant diarrhea, low iron, low hematocrit and hemoglobin levels.

In the past six weeks, I have upper right sided pain that has increased. It hurts to breathe in, cough, sneeze, hiccup and belch. I am short of breath with little exertion. That area is tender to touch. No fever, but I have chills and break out in sweats. I'm scheduled for a colonoscopy in two weeks, but think that I can't wait until then.

I read that with UC (ulcerative colitis) you have an increased risk for perforation. I planned to go to ER tonight. I'm afraid to delay treatment. I'm 51 years old.

By anon111153 — On Sep 15, 2010

My Dad is currently in ICU with a perforated bowel. He was in a ward having strong chemo, supposedly picked up an infection which followed with extreme diarrhea.

A couple of days later his blood pressure dropped to a deadly rate, emergency plans were cultivated and he survived to make it to ICU. Diagnosis = perforated bowel.

He was extremely unwell, on heaps of pain meds, oxygen, adrenaline etc and really out of it. We were told he had hours, possibly days, left. Six days later, he still has a perforated bowel but no pain meds, no oxygen, no heart meds, is drinking, sitting up and making jokes. The diarrhea is still extreme.

This goes against all the docs so far. They are amazed. PS - his white cell count is only 10. Is this a false reality? If anything else, we are really lucky to enjoy this lucid and pain-free time.

By anon104616 — On Aug 17, 2010

My husband is 41. He was recently diagnosed with diverticulitis with two perforations. He has been hospitalized twice with severe pain. Both times they put him on antibiotics and hoped that the perforations would heal. They didn't. Now they are waiting for swelling to go down to operate.

It has been two months of waiting. He has had black stool, now bright green stool. Distended belly, pain all across front of belly - seems to be worse after eating. Now he's having lower back pain. I am scared to death.

He doesn't see the doctor again for two weeks and he just seems to be getting worse every day. No fever right now, but he's very weak and tires easily. Any advice? Is this normal with a perforated bowel?

By amypollick — On Jul 23, 2010

@Anon98334: I am so very sorry about your mom. I know you miss her terribly. To lose her in such a way must be awful. I cannot imagine how much you're hurting right now.

For your children's sake, though, please see a grief counselor. These folks know how to teach you to cope with your grief and very natural anger with this situation. Your dad could probably benefit from a widowed persons' support group or other help, as well as your children.

I lost my dad nearly 15 years ago. He was only 61 and I was 27. I think of him every day. Eventually, the searing grief will ease a little. It gets a little easier to go through the day. But you have to give yourself time. But please, see someone who can give you solid, compassionate advice on how to cope with things. I don't know you, but you are certainly in my thoughts and prayers.

By anon98334 — On Jul 22, 2010

I am very angry about what happened to my beautiful, vibrant mother. She had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and one week later she started chemo and her abdomen had been swollen for an entire month, along with loss of appetite, vomiting, and severe stomach pain.

Her cancer doctor said "i don't understand why your stomach is like this or why you can't eat, etc." Two weeks later he said the scans showed the cancer "might" have spread to the lining of her stomach. Well, she was so weak, he put her in the hospital to give her nutrients and then immediately started chemo.

She was crying in pain while on morphine, and they thought it was chemo. *Finally,* they decided to drain all the fluid from her stomach and saw an infection. She had an x ray and they said it was a perforated bowel! My dad and I asked them why, why they didn't see this before, and they tried to say that the cancer had put a hole in her bowels.

I keep asking why they didn't think of this days ago with all of her symptoms. They opened her up and tried to clean out the infection. The surgeon said the cancer was like cement on both sides of her stomach and they couldn't wash out all the infection. She fought hard but was in ICU and never woke up from surgery on the ventilator. She was on all kinds of blood pressure meds and antibiotics pumping in her, and they said if she could make it 48 hours she "might" make it. After 24 hours they informed us there was hope, then two hours later told us she had a heart attack they weren't aware of.

Three hours later at 5 a.m. she went to be with God. I am angry and devastated by all of this. I feel like she never even got the chance to fight the evil cancer. My entire family is hurting.

I cry every single day for her. My children and I were so close to her. She lived with us. She was my best friend, my daughter's entire world (I'm 39, my kids 14 and 12). This is horrible. My poor dad is lost. They were married for 45 years, had known each other since they were 10 years old. My mom was 64 years young! Why, why, why did this have to happen to her?

I wish to god that she could have survived. I did *not* want to let her go!

By anon93446 — On Jul 04, 2010

My grandfather who was 71 died because of either shock from surgery or after surgery because he had a perforated bowel.

By anon93192 — On Jul 02, 2010

my mam died of septicemia caused through a perforated bowel, which we were not aware of. she was admitted to hospital with a chest infection. She had a operation 10 years ago for diverticulitis and had an ileostomy bag on. she was diagnosed with a blood clot on her lung after her operation, then they stopped giving her the treatment because they were not sure it was a blood clot. it obviously got a lot bigger and she was critical two months later and thankfully she survived, but it had put strain on her heart.

She was then given tablets for that which damaged her kidneys. She was taken off the warfarin and got more blood clots and they then decided to keep her on warfarin. We thought progress at last, until we were told she had a hole in the bowel and surgery wasn't an option and she was treated with antibiotics, then another one occurred which killed her.

I'm now living with the guilt of should i have insisted on surgery.

When she got her original op we were not given any info on possible side effects. we were told it would give her a new lease on life. it might have done if the doctors had acted sooner. now there's a big void in our lives and could we have done anything to have saved her?

By anon92554 — On Jun 28, 2010

My 94 year old grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's three weeks ago. Today my aunt took her to a gynecologist because on Friday while washing her clothes she found a large amount of feces in her underwear.

Her daytime care giver had mentioned that she was passing dark blood or something from her vagina two weeks earlier but when my aunt took her to her GP and he asked about it, my grandmother said she knew nothing about passing anything from her vagina. She had had a radical hysterectomy 50 years ago. So at the time we just let it pass.

But upon seeing the feces herself my aunt called over her daughter in-law who is an RN on the maternity ward who did a check to determine if the discharge was actually coming from her vagina. It was. The gynecologist found there to be a rupture in the intestine leaking feces into her vagina and said she would have to have surgery right away.

We are waiting for the surgeon to let us know when he will do it or if he will do it because of her age. Other than high blood pressure, high cholesterol, mild diverticulitis, and alzheimer's she is currently in good health and is still living by herself with the aid of someone from 8 to 2 daily. Other than the discharge she has no symptoms. How severe will this operation be for her? Should it even be considered with her age? What should we expect? We are all very scared.

By anon89981 — On Jun 13, 2010

I have lyme disease, so I take many many antibiotics. Aside from that,over the last few years, I have developed a lot of pain in my left lower pelvic area.

Sometimes I get very sick from this and it radiates up my whole left side, and even down my left leg. I'm wondering if anyone here thinks it's possible that I could have a small perforation in my colon, but it is being masked by all these antibiotics I am taking for Lyme disease? Essentially keeping it at bay.

By anon89472 — On Jun 10, 2010

If you suspect you have an abnormal blockage, severe pain in the bowel area; if it seems your peristalsis (digestive flow) has ceased, or your abdominal area seems swollen and unusually stiff, go to the EU immediately for a CAT scan or other exam.

If you have a bowel perforation, it must be repaired immediately otherwise death is likely! Once the toxic and infective elements of your intestine get into your body cavity you cannot waste time fooling around. Get to the hospital and do it quickly.

I know. I went through this and luckily I got there in time to survive. The operation was very traumatic, but I am alive today, thanks to the terrific medical team.

By anon89193 — On Jun 09, 2010

I have had severe bloating, gas, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting for 10 years. After many ct scans, ultrasounds, colonoscopies and endoscopies, there were never any answers and I was told I have IBS. I have seen many doctors and specialists to no avail.

Then, in 2008, after four days of extreme pain in the abdominal area, and radiating through to my right side and back, I went to the ER at the local hospital.

One very good gastro doctor discovered the problem, finally.

I had a tennis ball size lipoma (fatty benign tumour) growing in my large intestine and it had started to cause blockage and intussusception (telescoping) to my bowel. This was missed only six months previously in a ct scan, and this doctor explained that this "rare" condition was missed due to doctors thinking it was fecal matter and dismissing it as that.

After this final diagnosis, I had emergency surgery and had 1ft of bowel removed (right hemicolectomy).

I then had to have two stomach hernias repaired, due to the many years of abdominal bloating that caused my stomach to distend.

I have not had any problems since and at 51, feel OK for the first time in 10 years.

Just a warning to others that may be told by unknowing doctors that they have IBS or even a mystery illness.

This condition is more common than may be first thought and may be a intestinal growth, like I had.

This condition is so serious that I had about 1 day before a possible intestinal rupture could have been fatal.

If you are getting nowhere and you have the above symptoms, suggest that they look for a intestinal lipoma.

By anon84928 — On May 18, 2010

i had colon cancer surgery in nov 2007. In april 2009 i had a hysterectomy for uterine cancer. i was not getting better. I had very low blood pressure, couldn't breathe without oxygen, very little urine output.

An intern came in the next day at 2 a.m., and green stuff was oozing out of my abdomen. She said, "Oh i don't know what it is, but it isn't fecal matter, i will just open up and pack the wound."

I still wasn't getting better and i knew i was dying. Finally i got an aide to talk the nurse into calling the doctor. He came in a day later at 12 p.m. and took one look and said my bowel was perforated and i had to have emergency surgery to save my life.

i don't blame him because the hospital staff just didn't do their job, and keep a check on me. This little aide was the only one to bathe me the whole time i was in there.

it is a year later and i thank god i am alive but i still have not regained the strength in my legs and fear having to undergo any more surgery.

By anon84304 — On May 14, 2010

My mum died three days ago from a perforated bowel. She was found collapsed in the bathroom, unconscious, and died 20 hours later, never regaining consciousness.

When the post mortem was carried out, they found her bowel was perforated. Such an awful way to die.

By anon81674 — On May 02, 2010

i just had a hysterectomy in april. after my surgery i was having sharp pains in my abdomen -- real bad. the pains feel like they go to my anus, well not to it but in there, making me feel a bad urge to go to the bathroom.

Still during this time i have to hold my breath or cry it gets so bad. i notified my doctor and she did a sono. and a cat. Well I came up with a cyst that i supposedly did not have before surgery, a hematoma and some kid of real dangerous staff inside my body, but no one can find out what the pain is.

my mother told me to ask her to check my bowels also. She won't. she keeps saying they're fine -- just keep taking pain med and antibiotics for the staff and it will go away.

this pain is not going away and I'm real scared! Anyone ever feel like this? sometimes a little comes out of my body, sometimes none.

By anon80176 — On Apr 26, 2010

I have had severe upper right abdominal pain that radiated into my back for over five months now, and had a hiatal hernia repaired in june of 2009, and afterward in october 2009 had a hard fall and then my problems started.

My primary sent me to the surgeon who did my surgery and had a scope,colonoscopy and hida scan all of which was normal, just went for a ugi, endoscopy and small bowel test for leakage etc.

I have so much swelling and pressure in my belly and is hard to eat and the pain is really bad. I hope they find my problem soon. I know that there in something wrong.

By anon79661 — On Apr 23, 2010

I would listen to your primary care doctor that told you to wait. Don't rush into it. If anything you should get a second opinion especially if the first doctor is in such a hurry to do the procedure. You have the right and any insurance will pay for a second opinion.

By anon78128 — On Apr 17, 2010

I had an attack two weeks ago and was diagnosed with colitis and diverticulitis, and told that my bowel was inflamed. The gastroenterologist is in a hurry to do a colonoscopy next week.

My primary care physician wants me to wait four weeks for the inflammation to go down to avoid colon puncture, which can cause death.

what do i do? I'm being pressured on all sides to rush into the colonoscopy. help.

By anon78122 — On Apr 16, 2010

I am 41 years old and had an lavh hysterectomy three months ago. i just called my doctor for the three month check. i had severe endometriosis on my ovaries and my colon, and my left ovary was attached to my colon.

i was told by so many people who had cysts that i would feel so much better. Well, I'm still in pain. My doc said i likely have endometriosis on my intestines (I've always been irregular and was diagnosed with colitis when i was 19).

He does expect the pain to subside but really? i mean, if i continue to have endo. on my intestines then how is the pain going to subside? The pain has worsened over the past week to the point of my needing to take pain meds (thank God i had a few left) But pain meds increase constipation etc.

This pain is like burning cramps with nausea. I'm worried. Should i go to the ER?

By anon77218 — On Apr 13, 2010

CindyLouWhoo, I also had a hysterectomy and four days later, had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital because I was in so much pain, I thought I was dying. My bowel had been perforated during my hysterectomy.

Another surgeon repaired the perf, and I woke up with a colostomy bag, which I kept for two and a half months.

I had the colostomy closed six weeks ago and have had no problems since. As far as compensation, I have consulted with an attorney but have yet to hear whether or not he will pursue the claim for me. I wish you the best of luck!

By anon74866 — On Apr 04, 2010

It is healthy to periodically do a gentle intestinal cleanse. I would not recommend a colonic. Many people have had extreme pain and discomfort, even injury from water injection into the colon, especially if there is an obstruction.

A gentle intestinal cleanse involves using a variety of over the counter herbal cleanses, brief fasting, water or lemonade and evacuation of the bowels.

If you have diverticulitis, or other intestinal problems, keeping the tract free of blockages, waste and so on is wise. I personally will not eat nuts, seeds or small particulate food unless it is ground. I'll eat almond butter but not almonds.

Avoid heavily fried foods, thick, difficult to digest foods, fruit peels. Avoid very sticky and thick foods like heavy pastries, caramels, cheap processed foods, foods laden with frying oils, greasy snacks, foods high in salt or sugar.

Stay close to fruits, vegetables, steamed and cooked grains, high fiber cereals, lean meats and other higher quality foods.

Do not feed your children junk food, fat laden cheap processed foods, sugary junk and candy. Their growth and health depends on a good diet. If you are obese or seriously overweight, check out the OA meetings or the variety of nutritional programs online.

Some are very specific: no sugar, no flour, no processed foods, no foods with preservatives or chemicals, no fried foods, no foods made with bad cholesterol oils or grease.

Get wise and stay healthy!

By anon74766 — On Apr 03, 2010

what can cause your colon to rot?

By sanbruno — On Apr 02, 2010

antibiotics cannot "repair" a hole in the intestine. Surgery is the only way to stop the leakage of digestive elements and bacteria into the body.

If you think you have a perforation from any cause, accident, diverticulitis, etc., etc., go immediately for medical care and hope you get the very best surgeon because top quality surgical care is critical in cases of a perforation.

You can die from a perforation. Rep. Murtha from Pennsylvania was 77. He was accidentally punctured during gall bladder surgery and he died.

By anon74346 — On Apr 01, 2010

I am a 51 year old female. For over a year I had been having severe pain around my navel, side and back. About a month ago, I went to the ER after work with severe pain and nausea.

After doing a CT scan on me, the doctor came in and told me that I had to to have emergency surgery because I had a perforated colon.

After the surgery was performed my family was told that they could not find a hole anywhere, though it showed up on the CT scan.

I am recovering at home after seven days in the hospital, but, I am still very nauseated. What are the chances that this will happen again. I am still just as nauseated as I was before surgery.

By sanbruno — On Mar 31, 2010

In Sept 2009 I had severe pain in my stomach. Without warning or prior condition, my large intestine perforated (there must have been a diverticulum packed with festering food...I think it was pumpkin seeds (!!) The pain was terrible, so I finally went to the emergency room. They were great. I was quickly given a CAT scan. The doctor told me emergency surgery was necessary.

My surgeon was excellent -- he saved my life. The trauma, blood loss and shock of the surgery made me nearly die anyway.

I was opened up, cleaned out, my intestine was sectioned and I had a colostomy.

Some three months later the colostomy was taken down by the same incredible surgeon. Recovery was miraculous for me. My lower abdomen is still puffy and swollen, but I am going to the gym and working on my abs. The surgeon skillfully made a vertical incision that kept my ab muscles intact, and I am so thankful to be alive and recovering. Intestinal surgery is very serious.

Take great care of what you put in your mouth! Avoid anything sticky or little seeds, poorly chewed nuts, fried foods -- anything that might clog your tract and cause problems.

Many people die from perforation of the intestine, so be careful!

By anon71527 — On Mar 18, 2010

i read almost all of these comments and it is making me nervous. my mom went in for gallbladder surgery and the surgeon punctured her small intestine. they did not acknowledge her pain.

She was in for four days so we transferred her to another hospital. they are the ones who discovered her punctured small intestine and bad infection. she had another surgery to fix that last wednesday. it is now a week later and she is still in pain and may have an infection.

they did another cat scan today so we will know results tomorrow. it has been a horrible experience for her. when we think she is getting better something else happens.

By anon61029 — On Jan 17, 2010

My sister has had crohn's for 18 years. She is now 31. She went into the hospital over a year ago to have fistula removed. The surgeon did a terrible job and she started leaking into her body cavity because the stitches let go. She went septic and we almost lost her.

Since that first surgery over a year ago now she has been living at the hospital and has had ten surgeries to fix the new holes that keep forming. What they call it is spontaneous perforated bowel. Her doctor has no idea what is causing the holes because he has tested the bowel that was removed and also says there is no signs of active crohn's the intestine.

But it seems that every time the bowel is touched or irritated another hole forms a few days later. It's never ending. If someone has any advice I would love to hear it. It's already been over a year with her in the hospital and no end in sight. She's losing hope. Someone please help with any ideas you have! Thank you

By anon59158 — On Jan 06, 2010

I've been having bowel problems for a while now. for several months i was having constant diarrhea and couldn't eat. I'm only getting it every now and again but for nearly a year I'm getting really bad pains before opening my bowels and after and they are getting worse.

i go dizzy and sometimes fall off the toilet. a few times my stools have been hard and I've had a bit of blood when I've gone to clean myself. it's when i wiped myself the first time then second time nothing and there's been nothing in the bottom of the toilet.

I'm really frightened and i'm frightened to have the camera up. i go for a hospital appointment in a few day, so I would like some answers before then. please help.

By melmcg823 — On Dec 31, 2009

my mother is 81 and is a cancer survivor. she received radiation and because of this she now suffers from crohn's. A few days ago, she was rushed to the er and was diagnosed with a perforated bowel. this was at 1 am. By 9 p.m., she was taken to surgery.

the surgeon did not want to operate due to her past illnesses. he did not give the family much hope. he told the family that he would not even operate on his family member due to the slim chance of survival.

we asked him what mother's chances of survival were if she did not have surgery. he told us that she would eventually die painfully. mom chose to have the operation. after the operation the doctor came to speak to the family and said the damage of the leak into her body was not as bad as he thought.

i am thankful that mom chose to have the operation. it was her decision and i am extremely grateful for that. mother was in the icu for a week. she is now in a private room and today she ate liquids for the first time. the cut is very large and i am frightened for her life every single day. i am grateful that the almighty has been by my mothers side. for those in this same situation, please don't give up. there is hope. pray.

By anon57237 — On Dec 21, 2009

No. 8: I would never joke about it because I've been there. Several lung surgeries and lots of pain killers caused me to tear my anus - which resulted in yet another surgery -- this one to repair the anal fissure.

I have had two open hearts and a lung removed and the pain from the fissure surgery was the worst I've ever experienced!

Do yourself a favor and someone get you some Senna or a stool softener/laxative w/senna (or sennosides) as an active ingredient. And keep up with the lots of water. The senna was the only thing that did it for me and I take four per day, every day, and probably will for the rest of my life. Good luck!

By anon56942 — On Dec 18, 2009

I had the same problem with my pain meds. they bound me up and I was told to get prune juice to get the flow to move. It tastes nasty but it works.

By anon56938 — On Dec 18, 2009

CindyLouWhoo: I had outpatient surgery due to a mass on my ovary and was sent home. My husband called the doctor on call three days later because I woke up screaming in pain.

The doctor on call told him it was just gas and to get me something to help with that only, and was advised that it was not necessary to go to the emergency room.

A week to the day later I was taken to the emergency room and diagnosed with peritonitis infection due to a perforated bowel. I was operated on for three hours and sent to the intensive care unit for a week and was not expected to live. I spent a total of a month in the hospital.

To my horror I work up with an incision from below my ribs, through my belly button and an ostomy bag to boot! Eventually I was sent home having to give myself IV’s for the next ten days every six hours.

I refused to go back to the doctor who almost killed me and went to a female gastroenterologist to have my ostomy take down. She took one look at what the previous doctor did to me and said she would have never done that to me. She was horrified by the size and length of the scars.

My previous doctor, or should I say dimwit, was a Harvard Educated Oncologist who was supposed to know what the heck he was doing. I contacted several attorneys after this all happened to try to see if I could get compensation for this surgical accident, and was basically told that it is considered a complication of my original surgery. I have been scarred permanently and emotionally tortured and I hope that he burns in hell for what he did to me and my family.

By anon54482 — On Nov 30, 2009

i am 27 had an ercp to fix a hole in my intestine and when doing this they perforated my bowel. and the result was a abscess in my abdomen which needed operating on.

i also got a blood infection. i am now at home after three months in hospital when it should have been two days.

As a result i now have to be feed through a tube in my tummy called a jej, cannot eat at all, have regular strong meds but now have bad tummy pain which i am wondering whether it is recurring. can the perforation recur?

i am scared, as i am being sick as well. i don't want to go back in as i have only just got back with my kids.

By anon52560 — On Nov 15, 2009

My mother is 56 years old and one week ago she went to the hospital with stomach pains. She had multiple surgeries but she did not survive. She had diverticulitis that resulted in a perforated bowl. She was such a strong woman, so beautiful. We are all lost without her. She made it through the colon removal surgery, but she did not make it through the second surgery. I don't know what happened, but after the first surgery they said her small intestine had a dead spot and they had to remove some of it.

She was fine going into that surgery and then afterwards she went into a coma. I am so confused right now about how this could have happened.

By anon51829 — On Nov 09, 2009

In response to 17, did you see a gastroenterologist, or just a primary doctor? I'm wondering because you stated that you had abdominal pain for four months. Your body was telling you something was not right. i am a nurse and had no symptoms and no pain whatsoever until the day my bowel ruptured from a diverticula. I also was a very healthy young women prior to this event. I suffered septic shock and frank peritonitis from a ruptured abscess. I don't remember much while in critical care, just that when I woke up. I had a colostomy. It was part of me for six months and I had an ileostomy for six weeks due to having an unqualified surgeon. I hope you're doing well. Butterfly 34

By anon51629 — On Nov 07, 2009

I had a 30 year old friend who went in to have a hysterectomy due to heavy periods etc. She stayed in hospital for five days to recover. she left on a Saturday and returned the next day in a lot of pain. Within a week all her organs had shut down because they must have nicked a small hole in her bowl and it slowly poisoned her and she later died from this.

By anon51533 — On Nov 06, 2009

I had a bowel perforation in late October, 2008. I was at work and had no symptoms until I went to the ER due to severe lower quadrant pain. I was admitted and had emergency surgery that same night.

Unfortunately, I had a general surgeon. I was sent home two days post op. On the third day I went into septic shock and survived it. I had a colostomy then had three more bowel perforations. I got a second opinion on the fourth bowel perforation. A wonderful colorectal surgeon, Tam Le, saved my life after eight surgeries to fix all the damage. I am glad to say no more colostomy. it has been five months. this can happen to anyone so be aware of your body and if you need to have surgery, make sure the doctor is qualified. Butterfly 34

By anon49666 — On Oct 22, 2009

My mother died of sepsis from a perforated bowel. She had suffered from cancer for over five years. Breast and then bone cancer. She had taken a lot of pain medication. She was a strong woman and we thought she had years yet to enjoy her family. This was all very sudden and she was just too weak to undergo surgery or so the doctors convinced us. We took her to the hospital for fever and pain and 48 hours later she was gone. This is a difficult disease and seems to result from so many different causes. I believe her cancer had weakened her and with all the pain meds, chemo and radiation, I suppose she was just hanging on by a thread.

By anon48259 — On Oct 11, 2009

I had a hysterectomy back in June and I was told by my doctors that this routine procedure would have me feeling great and like a new woman in a few weeks. I had severe fibroids and surgery was my only option given. Before that I went and had a colonoscopy which required a great deal of blood work and various scans of my pelvic and abdomen. Almost four months later I still look like I am seven months pregnant and hurt in my back all the time. I went to my ob/gyn who casually mentioned that I may have colitis and prescribed a medication called Flagyl and then asked me to schedule an appointment with my gastrics doctor who performed the surgery. I am so upset from how my surgeon who I saw after my surgery only had me to stand and he looked at my scars and told me I was doing fine and the swelling will go down soon. My stool is like baby food green and I eat all the time like I am never full and I do drink a lot of fluids because I am thirsty all the time as well. I don't know what the results are going to be from this but I wanted to write this so that another person does not have to go through this terrible pain for any length of time without seeking help. We know our on bodies and we should listen to them when something is not quite right.

By anon47884 — On Oct 07, 2009

I have suffered from crohn's disease since 1992. I am now 56 and I have had numerous surgeries and wear a permanent ileostomy pouch, for almost 10 years now. I went into hospital 3 weeks ago so my new gastroenterologist could do a camera scope through my ileostomy. while doing the exam the doctor perforated my small intestine, causing me to require immediate emergency surgery as they removed a portion of my small intestine and then resection. I am really upset with the doctor as he knew I had crohn's and multiple previous surgeries. I think he was careless and probably probed too quickly. I am not only in recovery for weeks with substantial discomfort, I am out of work with no sick time. Do I have any recourse or is this just an unfortunate risk given that I have crohn's? any feedback will be appreciated. thanks.

By auggie — On Oct 02, 2009

In reply to anon7694. Yes! I had a routine colonoscopy in August at 10 a.m. By 5 p.m. I was having emergency surgery for a perforated bowel that was caused by the doctor performing the procedure. He tore my colon while removing a polyp. I'm still returning to the hospital once a day for dressing changes as a result of the surgery. --nbg

By anon45308 — On Sep 15, 2009

i am so glad the chap in write up number 35 has pulled through his very traumatic time. it must have been very scary for his family who love him so much. i hope nobody ever has to go through what his family went through due to the neglect of the doctors at the time!

By anon44940 — On Sep 11, 2009

My grandma just died a few days ago of apparently a perforated bowel. She went into hospital two weeks ago with a broken hip and although her hip wasn't causing her pain anymore she never got to use it, as she started getting stomach pains because of a blockage in her bowel. she had x rays and tests, and about five enemas over a few days. the blockage had apparently disappeared then the following day it was back (even though she hadn't eaten anything). next thing i know, is a week later her potassium levels were low so she was moved to high dependency ward, where her bowel perforated (doctor said there was not a chance they would be able to operate) so we just had to wait, and 12 hours later she was dead. Now my question is: could it have been the blockage that caused this, and how can a bowel get re-blocked without anything going into her body? She was nil by mouth for about a week! Surely x rays and tests should have picked something up?!

By anon44232 — On Sep 06, 2009

my son was riding his bike and fell. as he fell the handle bars punched him in the stomach and he had severe pain. i took him to the er and emergency surgery was done within two hours. luckily he doesn't need a bag on the side but he has been vomiting and I'm now waiting on the x-rays to make sure no infection has set in. i hate when any of my boys are sick. i pray he is okay. this is nerve wracking. i don't want any of my kids to ride a bike again. this is a scary thing. the docs said you could die from the infection but after reading the other stories I'm really scared to get the x-ray report. well it's off the the hospital again. hope everyone on here is doing well and be blessed.

By anon42251 — On Aug 20, 2009

My mother-in-law had her operation, during which a perforated bowel was found to be the cause of her "hip" pain and green bile vomiting. The surgeon gave her a "wash through" (his words)and sewed her up again. Since then she has been on a morphine pump and given no sustenance but she is hydrated. She is literally starving to death. The surgeon says she will not recover and cannot possibly be operated on again because of her weak heart.

This is so cruel and we are in despair for her sake. Any thoughts?

By anon41800 — On Aug 17, 2009

I'm a medical student, almost finished. radiation therapy can cause perforated bowel as well, for webster73.

For all of you who have complaints about your treatment and then went to see another doctor, make this known to the first doctor so that he or she can do better next time and learn from their mistakes. This world needs good doctors but they don't learn everything in med school, so help them along a little bit. It's sad when people die because of a doctor's ignorance or laziness.

By webster73 — On Aug 13, 2009

My mother was rushed back to her hospital to surgically fix a urethral stent (right side). 2-3 days later she had radiation to reduce pain from a fractured, and possibly cancerous, right hip. Two days later, the doctors "discovered" a perforated bowel. For certain reasons, surgery is not a viable option, so she is put on a special nutritional IV and pain management drugs in the hope that her body can repair itself before she goes septic. My question is this: The perforated bowel probably was from the surgery earlier in the week. If the perforation had been discovered during that surgery (or avoided), or closer to it, could she have received this non-surgical treatment sooner and would her chances of survival be better?

Thank you for your time. C-

By anon39113 — On Jul 30, 2009

i suffered this when i was 16 playing football. I got kneed in the stomach and was immediately in pain, when to hospital on the tuesday night, couldn't pee or anything. My hospital was letting me home the following wednesday shockingly even though i hadn't been to the toilet or eaten for a whole week and was being violently sick. I had one last scan on the wednesday morning before i went home only to be rushed into theatre in about 5 hours for an operation!! Bad times. Was in intensive care for about 3 days. all fit and healthy now though.

By anon38250 — On Jul 24, 2009

the doctor told me i had a herniated hole in my bowels and that no doctor would do surgery on it unless i got a bowel obstruction from it. everything i have researched shows surgery is the best thing.. can't find much info on this so was wondering if anyone had any info??

By anon37857 — On Jul 22, 2009

my mother, age 81, had a 5-pound tumor removed along with her ovaries on july 08 20009. on july 15 2009 her bowel perforated. they could not operate because of her weak condition. the surgeon gave her 2 days. today it is july 22 2009 and she is still going although very weak -- an amazing lady. so trust and have faith. there is always hope

By anon37601 — On Jul 20, 2009

My 75 year old father was rushed from his dialysis treatment and admitted to the local ER at 9:30 AM suffering from severe abdominal pain. The diagnosis was a bowel perforation. They did not do surgery until 3:30 AM the following morning! He had to be "bagged" which was very humiliating for him but they would reconnect him after the severe infection cleared up. Our father rallied until his heart could no longer keep up. He passed July 13th, 2009. Words cannot explain the sorrow and pain it has caused my family. I just wonder if the hospital's waiting had anything to do with my father's death. He was extremely disoriented and couldn't speak very well. They did CAT scans on him and found he didn't have a stroke but I still want to know why the decline in health. We have received no answers.

I am heartbroken and don't know where to turn for answers. He was a wonderful father and also had excellent health coverage. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

By anon37059 — On Jul 16, 2009

I am 51 and after vomitting developed severe lower abdominal pain and left groin pain. I took OTC meds and a hot water bottle to relieve the pain believing it to be a ovarian cyst (which I had before). On day 5, I felt slightly feverish and general feeling of not well. I felt like I needed an antibiotic, so went to ER and received a diagnosis of a ruptured diverticuli. I was admitted for 4 days, given IV antibiotics and am now home, somewhat stable, but scared. My MD plans to see me in two weeks and plan surgery laproscopically three weeks after that(it I remain stable). Any one have their bowel resected this way? how did you do with it?

By anon35057 — On Jul 01, 2009

On May 23rd, 2009, I woke up with abdominal pain and fever almost 102. Hubby took me to ER and I was admitted. CT showed diverticulitis. Treated with IV antibiotics. I was NPO (nothing by mouth) and was so thirsty and hungry. Dr allowed me to have clear liquids the next morning and by that afternoon, my abdomen had swollen up and was hard. Fever went up. CT showed ruptured abscess. So, 8 days later, I was discharged on IV antibiotics and low fiber diet. Seven (7) days after that, I again woke up with pain and high fever. Went to different ER at 4am and by 7:30am was *out* of surgery. Had colon resection and colostomy. Dr said peritonitis had set in *again* with another ruptured abscess and if I had waited one more hour I'd have died. I am now almost 4 weeks post-surgery and doing well. Surgery to reconnect everything and remove colostomy should be in early Sept. Abdominal pain, fever and other associated symptoms mentioned here should *not* be ignored! Do not wait! It could mean your life.

By anon30115 — On Apr 14, 2009

If a perforation occurs in the small bowel during an endoscopy does it require surgery to be repaired?

By anon29406 — On Apr 01, 2009

hi i'm a cna and since last Thursday my resident has not been able to eat. she has been nauseated for 3 days, then when I returned to work on my shift she was complaining about abdominal pain and she said no one believes me. well I did. I know she hasn't been feeling very well since that Thursday they had someone come in from radiology and take x-rays of her stomach. she was still complaining of abdominal pain and nausea. my nurse told me to get her ready and she is going to the er and they discovered she has a perforated bowel.

she was still having bowel movements. what could have caused this? i found out today she is on life support and has a 50-50 chance of living.

By CindyLouWhoo — On Mar 26, 2009

This is for anon5479. I had a hysterectomy and experienced pain and abdominal distension for 6 days in the hospital and the doctor sent me home anyway. I had not had a bowel movement or passed gas, even with the assistance of suppositories and an enema. Two days later I was in the ER with severe poisoning because of a perforated bowel. A different surgeon operated and gave me a colostomy. I almost died.

I have yet to go back and have the colostomy reversed, and get on with my life post hysterectomy. Has any other woman experienced this type of horror, and did you receive compensation?

By anon27872 — On Mar 07, 2009

My friend had surgery for Crohn's and is left with what is being referred to a fissures that do not allow her to heal. When her external wound tries to heal over the build up internally breaks through again and this has been going on for six months post surgery with no sign of improvement. It's not really clear what is going on, where are the fistulas coming from and should she be having further surgery to fix this problem?

She is being pawned off by her surgeon and the GP is at her wits end as she's really worried about scepticemia. Any advice??

By anon24880 — On Jan 19, 2009

pain medications slow perastalsis and inhibit GI secretions which can leading to a blockage of stool. The intestines become inflamed and bacteria produce more gas, this can lead to perforation. If you're having surgery or admitted to the hospital, listen to your nurse! Walk, move, drink fluids, eat increased fiber and take your stool softeners! Your nurse is there to treat your symptoms, so use them!

By anon24103 — On Jan 07, 2009

Im 25 years old. On new years eve I went to the hospital for intense abdominal pain and vomiting. My doctor did a CT scan which showed air in my abdomen from a perforated colon. I was in surgery until 5 am january 1st. The doctors still have yet to have a reason for my condition. Im recovering well in my parents home in colorado.. But im scared, I want to know why or what, caused this condition so spontaneously. I wasn't involved in any accidents and the doctor says the section of colon removed looked almost like bubblewrap. Reading more I couldn't help but think diverticulitis but it didn't seem there was any time for me to realize the problem before my colon was perforated.. any ideas.. anyone?

By anon21946 — On Nov 24, 2008

My X (age 66) just died from having a hip replacement followed by a perforated bowel 3 days later. It then leaked and was patched up and then leaked again. What the heck is going on w/these doctors? Couldn't they have done a colostomy or something more than to try to patch up a rather untidy hole in a bowel? I don't know what caused the perforation, the surgery or a weakness, or the result of a coloscopy he had a short time before the hip replacement. He suffered for almost 5 weeks in intensive care, had a ventilator in for four weeks. Since he had a pacemaker, his heart wouldn't give out but his kidneys finally did. You can't replace the father of my sons or erase the pain and suffering we witnessed. This man did not die with dignity or deserve to suffer this way. I wouldn't want my worst enemy to go through this!

By tubz — On Nov 20, 2008

what can cause a hole in the bowel?

By faithaf3 — On Oct 10, 2008

My bowel perforated twice in 3 days, I got an ileostomy, then it prolapsed and intercucepted (fell out in to itself) so it was reversed, I am lucky to be here. My Doctor asked me as I lay septic if I believed in prayer - at that moment i believed more than ever. Here I am 6 years later. i have crohns disease.

By anon18789 — On Sep 29, 2008

My father who is 87 is presently in hospital with a perforated bowel. The doctors are refusing to operate and are treating him with antibiotics. He is in extreme pain. What is the likelihood of antibiotics curing this condition?

By anon18011 — On Sep 12, 2008

My husband was 60 when he died he had had a abdoperineal resection 2 years ago for rectal cancer and given the all clear in january. he had a hemicholectomy for a benign tumor he developed abdominal abscesses and sepsis the abscesses kept reoccurring due to poor bowel anasstomosis the bowel contents leaking into his abdomen causing sepsis he couldn't fight and was to frail for surgery he beat cancer to die of septicemia. so sad. i am now a widow with a teenage son left to cope alone

By anon17068 — On Aug 21, 2008

I'm 21 years old. I myself had a scare just 7 months ago. I was very ill 4 months before and didn't know what was wrong with me. I was was experiencing very bad pain in my abdomen every day for 4 months and about 8 months ago I was rushed to the hospital. They ran all kinds of tests and I had a perforated bowel and it leaked into my stomach and created peritonitis. I was given 1 more day to live. They did emergency surgery that night and fixed everything up. Just to let everyone know that prior to that I was a very healthy girl, no bowel problems or anything. Sickness can strike anyone at any time so please if your experiencing anything that those other people wrote please seek medical attention.

By anon15834 — On Jul 22, 2008

My mother Died July 5 of a Perforated Bowel after an Gall Bladder Surgery. Does Methotrexate cause perforated bowel? Methotrexate is treatment for RA.

By anon14747 — On Jun 23, 2008

My husband died of a perforated bowel two months ago today. He did suffer with Crohns but there were no warning signs. Even though i don't want to scare anyone, just be very wary when you hear it mentioned. I was blissfully ignorant that it was a life threatening condition, now i am a widow with two small kids.

By anon13412 — On May 26, 2008

Can pain killers cause a perforated bowel?

By anon11677 — On Apr 21, 2008

When I was 15 I was taken to the ER by my family after 17 hours of excruciting pain and vomiting. After an Xray the doctor told me I was fine and had the flu, he was going to send me home! The nurse on duty took over and said I needed a CAT scan. From there I needed surgery. Everyone told us my appendix had ruptured. Once the surgeon opened me up he found that it was my small intestines instead. He took out twelve inches of my small intestines along with my appendix because feces had crystallized on my appendix. I am now 19. I had many years of irritable bowel syndrome since then. I am now doing much better and I try to live life as normal as possible.

By anon9791 — On Mar 13, 2008

I believe taking large doses of pain medication can lead to a perforated bowel. My 82 year old Mom has been on Oxys for a couple of years after major surgery. Her doctor was giving her over 100 of them a month. Jan. 2 my Mom was rushed to the hospital and passed away in less than 1 hour because of a perforated bowel that they didn't think she was strong enough to go through the surgery for.

By anon9674 — On Mar 10, 2008

is it possible for a perforated bowel to be caused by a surgeon? i'm really young and i have a colostomy bag. My infection did empty out in my stomach and caused me to faint.

By anon8477 — On Feb 14, 2008

In July of last year I went by ambulance to MCG hospital where I was put in a wheelchair and told 5 people were ahead of me. I was screaming and crying and doubled out. I basically crawled out of the hospital er and was taken to my moms house where I was in more pain that ever had I felt. I had a perforated bowel and lived off of over the counter drugs. The next day I went to another hospital arriving with a bp of 65-41. I am still unable to get proper medical help because of the red tape of medicaid. Has anyone else out there had this many problems? Just curious.

By anon5526 — On Nov 28, 2007

A perforated bowel is a medical emergency, but the chances that a patient will die from the condition really depends on how quickly they are treated.

By anon5479 — On Nov 27, 2007

I just got home yesterday from the hospital after having an hysterectomy. During surgery, my doctor discovered that I had a perforated small intestine, which evidently had not leaked. Another surgeon was called in to fix it before they even continued with my hysterectomy. I am a little freaked out right now as I am 6 days post-op and have not yet had a bowel movement. I was on a morphine pump for 5 days after the surgery and still on pain meds. I am so afraid that I may cause a tear since I am so constipated. They didn't give me anything in the hospital to make this easier. I am drinking lots of water and taking stool softeners, but so far, no luck. I am up at 2:30am walking because of the pain. Any ideas? No jokes please, until you have been through this.

By anon4572 — On Oct 23, 2007

Are the chances high for someone to die from this ..?

because my aunt is in the hospital right now in a coma that doctors made happen by medicine and she's on life support. my mom says she has a 50/50 chance of living, but she doesn't know that much ..

By jbates — On Sep 08, 2007

Are the symptoms of Diverticulus (extreme, where the bowel has perforated) similar to that of Empyema of the Gall Bladder?

By wakeling — On Jul 19, 2007

I had a colostomy operation for perforated bowel due to pelvic abscess in 1964 then they did a closure of colostomy in 1965.

I have never seen anyone since regarding this and wonder should I have some sort of follow up?

By firepixie09 — On Jul 04, 2007

how long does this take to show signs?

By firepixie09 — On Jul 04, 2007

can large doses of tylenol also contribute to this type of problem?

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
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