Viscus is an internal organ located in the abdominal cavity and pelvis area. For example viscera in the abdomen include peritoneum, stomach, duodenum, intestine, colon liver, spleen, pancreas, kidney, adrenal gland, appendix and gallbladder. Pelvic viscera include ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, urinary bladder and rectum. Some of these organs are hollow and may perforate due to certain medical conditions or injuries. Perforation typically leads to entering of the content from the viscus in the peritoneal cavity and consequent inflammation and several more complications. Viscus perforation is considered a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.
Causes of Perforated Viscus
The walls of hollow organs inside the abdominal cavity and pelvis keep the content of the organs inside and prevent its leakage. Food is, for example, digested and transferred inside the stomach, intestine and colon and finally eliminated via rectum. Similarly, the gallbladder is a hollow organ which serves as a reservoir of the bile. The urine bladder contains urine. But, the situation can change if the continuity of these hollow organs is interrupted. This way their content enters the peritoneal cavity.
There are many causes of viscus perforation. Injury and trauma are only two of them. Injury can be caused by sharp objects such as knifes or even gun shots. In case of trauma direct blow to the abdomen may result in perforation of certain internal organs. Furthermore, viscus perforation may be a consequence of inflammatory illnesses of the intestine such as typhoid fever. Perforation can be also associated with gastric or duodenal ulcers. Bowel obstruction, colon cancer, Chron's disease, diverticulitis and appendicitis are several more conditions which may eventually cause viscus perforation. In women rupture can affect the ovaries, fallopian tubes and even the uterus.
Symptoms of Perforated Viscus
The most common symptom of viscus perforation is severe and sudden pain in the abdomen. Irritation of the peritoneum caused by the content from the perforated viscus leads to rigidity of the abdominal muscles. The abdomen is also tender to touch and distended. Additional symptoms include nausea and vomiting. The heart rate is increased and the blood pressure drops. One may develop fever.
Treatment for Perforated Viscus
Leakage of the content of the perforated viscus allows bacteria to enter the peritoneal cavity. They may eventually enter the blood stream and cause lethal sepsis. This is why it is essential to remove all the content from the peritoneal cavity which may cause further complications. The patients are always treated surgically. During the procedure a surgeon sews the perforated viscus and cleans the peritoneal cavity. To prevent fatal complications due to bacteria all patients are administered antibiotics.