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What is a perforated bowel injury?

Many Houston residents will need surgery this year. You probably expect that your surgeon will do his or her best to ease your worries regarding the surgery and will expertly perform the surgery. But occasionally, surgical errors like a perforated bowel occur. These mistakes can cause you significant pain, suffering, and financial loss.

What is a perforated bowel injury? A perforated bowel happens when there is a hole in the esophagus, small intestine, gallbladder, rectum, large bowel, or stomach which then leaks out intestinal contents into the abdomen. A bowel perforation can be caused in a variety of ways. These include Crohn's disease, appendicitis, gallstones, ulcer, vaginal mesh erosion, and surgical errors.

Symptoms of a perforated bowel often include intense abdominal pain, fever, and vomiting. The abdomen will swell as well, and you may get a fever, feel nauseous, and have blood in your stool. A CT scan can show where the hole is located and a high white blood cell count can indicate an infection. Nearly all cases result in surgery to remedy the condition. Operations are usually successful, so long as you receive treatment quickly. If you don't, then a serious infection may occur that can cause death.

If you have a perforated bowel you can feel scared and upset. If the injury was caused by a surgical error, then you may wish to speak with an attorney skilled in medical malpractice. A lawyer can review medical records and determine if the injury was the result of negligence. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Source: Medline Plus, "Gastrointestinal perforation", accessed on Jan. 12, 2015

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