stomach perforation#gastrointestinal perforation,

What is perforation of the stomach?

A perforation of the stomach means a hole in the stomach has been created, from which the contents of the stomach spill in the space between other organs in the abdomen.

The spilled contents could include:

  • Bacteria
  • Stomach acid
  • Partially digested foods
  • Blood

What are the causes of a stomach perforation?

  • Stomach ulcer
  • Stomach ulcers caused by usage of NSAID drugs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

How is diagnosis determined for a stomach perforation?

  • An X-ray for air fluid levels in the stomach is also recommended in order to determine diagnosis.
  • Abdominal ultrasound


  • In the majority of cases, treatment is surgical, which involves:
    Closing the hole in the stomach, halting the spillage of stomach contents, thus: fixing the cause of peritonitis
  • At times, when the hole is very small, the surgeon follows a more conservative approach (using medication instead of surgery). The doctor may prescribe antibiotics, and the hole may close up on its own.

Prevention methods

Prevention methods which depend upon the lifestyle choices of the patient include:

  • A balanced diet
  • Cessation of smoking, cessation or reduction of alcohol consumption
  • Limiting the consumption of NSAID drugs (care must be taken to consume these medications on a full stomach)

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 23 Jan 2018
Medical Author: Dr. med. Diana Hysi