Physical examination. Intestinal perforation is a very serious and life threatening condition that requires immediate physical examination by a doctor. This is an emergency situation. Blood tests, x-ray, and ct scan are likely the first tests performed.
Bowel perforation. Treatment is mostly by surgery if patient has peritonitis. If diverticulitis causes a perforation sometimes long term antibiotics are needed, and surgery may be avoided.
Depends. If it is a major perforation with stool contamination and peritonitis, surgery is the treatment and quickly. Minor small perforations can sometimes be managed with bowel rest and IV antibioics usually in the hospital setting.
1. Usually severe pain, abdominal bloating, fever.
A hole.... ..that penetrates through the gut (typically large bowel or colon) resulting either as a complication of infection (e.g. diverticular rupture) or of a bowel procedure (like colonoscopy). Sometimes conservatively managed, but often a surgical emergency.
Pain. Usually severe abdominal pain either localized or diffusely thru the abdomen, fever, distention of the abdomen qand a change in bowels. If in doubt go to pcp or er and get an xray or ct scan. The sooner it is diagnosed and treated the better you will.
Bowel perforation. Usually associated with severe abdominal pain, the patient is usually not able to move much, and laying still helps decrease the pain. Fever and increase in WBC count is also a finding as well as free air on xrays.
Most will be aware. Generally a bowel perforation causes peritonitis and severe symptoms. On occasion a small perforation can become walled off and not cause peritonitis but it still would cause symptoms in most, but not all, cases. Patients on corticosteroid medication can have a "silent" perforation. The very elderly and patients debilitated by other illness may also have "silent" perforations.
What are some warning signs of bowel perforation? Especially if it's minor, like a small hole or tear?
Abdominal pain. It all depends whether it is stomach, small bowel or large bowel. Most of them will present with a quite severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever in an otherwise healthy patient. Most of these patients will end up in the hospital quickly due to the pain. The symptoms may be much les prominent in an immunocompromised patients.
What to do if I'm afraid of losing my natural flora and also of bowel perforation. How likely are these risks?
Unlikely. These are unlikely scenarios if your bowel is otherwise healthy, you do not have inflammatory bowel disease, take antibiotics chronically, or are being treated with chemotherapy. Eating sensibly allows the body to keep its natural bowel flora in balance.
Yes. Assuming the perforation was recognized and treated promptly, the outlook is fine.