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Bowel Perforation – Ruptured Bowel

A ruptured bowel is when there is a hole, nick, or cut in the small intestine or large intestine. A ruptured bowel is also known as torn bowel, perforated bowel, hole in the bowel, perforated intestine, ruptured intestine or gastrointestinal perforation. When a leak occurs anywhere within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the opening allows food, fecal matter or stool, and bacteria to leak into the abdominal space or peritoneum that can lead to an infection, sepsis, septic shock, peritonitis, organ damage and death.

A bowel perforation or ruptured bowel can be caused by a variety of GI disorders, including appendicitis, diverticulitis, ulcer disease, gallstones or gallbladder infection, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.  Perforation of the bowel can also occur during a laparoscopic surgery, colonoscopy, hysterectomy, C-section, bladder repair surgery or other operations.

Just because a bowel perforation occurred during a surgical procedure, it does not necessarily mean that there was medical malpractice or negligence during a surgery.  Injury to the bowel during a surgery is a known risk of many abdominal procedures.  That is why it is very important for nurses, surgeons and doctors to suspect there may be a ruptured bowel in patients that complain of fever and severe abdominal pain after they underwent a surgical procedure in their abdomen.  If there is a failure to timely diagnose and treat the bowel perforation it could lead to a severe infection and even death.

Once the bowel perforation is diagnosed, the doctor will need to fix the cause of the perforation.  Many times, this includes removing the portion of the bowel that is damaged and creating a colostomy bag to divert the stool and allow the bowel to rest and heal.  In most cases, the colostomy can be reversed within a year but if too much time passed before the bowel perforation was diagnosed and treated, the damage to the intestine could be too severe and the patient will require a permanent colostomy.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a bowel perforation after a surgery, sepsis, septic shock, permanent damage to the intestine or death, it may have been due to a failure to diagnose a bowel perforation or medical negligence after a surgery. Please feel free to contact one of our experienced lawyers, doctors or nurses at 1.888.823.5291 for a strictly confidential and free consultation.  Since 1958, we have helped thousands who have been injured and have had billions awarded on their behalf. We were around then when they needed us and we are here for you now.