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A perforation is a hole in the wall of the digestive tract. A perforation may occur anywhere in the digestive tract and may occur when:
A perforation of the digestive tract can be life-threatening. It can cause severe pain and bleeding. The material inside the intestines can leak into the hollow space of the abdomen (abdominal cavity) and cause an infection (peritonitis). Emergency surgery is needed when a perforation has occurred.
Last Revised: January 9, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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