A perforated bowel is essentially a hole, or opening, in the wall of the stomach, small intestine, and/or large intestine. When surgery is performed, the surgeon can inadvertently cut the lining the bowel which leads to the perforation. This type of surgical error can lead to some pretty horrific side effects.
The reason you want to avoid a perforated bowel at all costs is because the opening in the stomach/intestine allows food, stool, and other substances to leak into your stomach causing peritonitis (i.e. inflammation of the abdomen), according to freemd.com. The side effects include severe nausea, fever, dehydration, etc. If you dont get the cut bowel corrected in a timely manner, the risk of death increases precipitously.
Surgeries where a perforated bowel has a higher chance of occurring include colonoscopy, surgery to remove a polyp and/or mass in the bowel, and, in some rare cases a hysterectomy. However, in all honesty, any procedure where a surgeon is using a scalpel on your internal organs, a perforation can occur.
This is why you need to be prepared, both before and after the surgery. Ask the surgeon how many procedures theyve performed in the past. If you dont feel comfortable with the answer, always remember you can request the services of another surgeon. After the surgery, be on the lookout for the side effects listed above. The moment you notice these problems, contact your doctor and surgeon immediately in order to get it checked out.
If its discovered the surgeon made a mistake and cut your bowel, or another intestine, you should seek the advice of a medical malpractice attorney. Our firm has represented victims whove suffered very serious after an intestine was perforated (check out the case result here). This type of surgical mistake is preventable and you have legal rights in this situation. To gain additional knowledge about perforated bowel issues and other surgical errors, please read our free consumer report about the top-5 surgical errors and how not to become a victim.