Gastrointestinal perforation

Gastrointestinal perforation

Synonyms: Intestinal perforation, Perforation of the intestines


Gastrointestinal perforation is a hole that develops through the wall of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large bowel, rectum, or gallbladder. This condition is a medical emergency.

Gastrointestinal perforation can be caused by a variety of illnesses.

It may also be caused by abdominal surgery.

Perforation of the intestine causes the contents of the intestines to leak into the abdominal cavity. This causes a serious infection called peritonitis.

X-rays of the chest or abdomen may show air in the abdominal cavity. This is called free air. It is a sign of a tear.