Small bowel or the small intestine is the longest part of the digestive system in the human body. This organ connects the stomach to the large intestine. It helps in the absorption of nutrients from the food during the digestion process. The small intestine is founded in a folded form structure that helps to get it fit into the abdomen. When elongated they reach up to twenty feet in length with a diameter of one inch. The small intestine plays a vital role in the digestion process and performs most of the digestion of the food we intake. The small intestine has three parts namely the duodenum, the ileum, and the jejunum. A Perforation is described as a hole that develops through the wall of an organ. There are so many reasons that can cause the perforation in the small intestine. These include:
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
A Perforation in the small intestine can be dangerous when the intestinal enzymes get leaked to the abdomen. This can lead to an infection called as peritonitis. Symptoms may include:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Increase in white blood cell count
Treatment for small bowel perforation includes surgery to repair the hole. A CT scan of the abdomen is taken to locate any hole in the internal organ. Another method is to perform a gastroscopy. This is a type of endoscopy which allows examining the abdomen. In this method, a long and thin flexible with a telescope attached is inserted through the mouth and the oesophagus and reached the stomach. The doctor can view the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine and identify any perforation or hole if any.
After a perforation is identified, surgery is conducted to repair the hole. During the surgery, a small part of the intestine will be removed. Then one end of the intestine may be brought out to form a stoma and gets attached to the abdominal wall. This way the intestinal wastes are drained out by collecting it in a pouch attached to the stoma.
After the surgery, the patients are advised to make a change in the diet plan. They are advised to tale frequent meals in less quantity. The recovery of the patient from the surgery depends on the overall health condition of the patient. Special care should be taken to prevent any causes for infection and bleeding. Meditations are provided to ease the pain and discomfort after the surgery. Also, acid-suppressing meditations are provided. These meditations act upon the cells lining the abdominal wall and reduce the release of enzymes and acids that help in the digestion of food. It’s recommended to consult the doctor if the following symptoms are visible after the surgery. The symptoms include blood in the stool, change in bowel habits like constipation, fever, nausea, vomiting, pain during bowel movement, abdominal cramps etc.