Perforated Viscus

Perforated Viscus

A perforated viscus is a life-threatening condition, whose treatment, if delayed, could prove to be fatal. Read through the following Buzzle article to know about the symptoms, causes, and treatment options of this condition.
In medical terms, viscus refers to a hollow organ that is present inside the body. In humans, such organs are found in the chest as well as the abdomen, such as intestines, gallbladder, stomach, spleen, and urinary bladder. A perforated viscus or a ruptured viscus, is often used to denote any rupturing or tearing of these organs of the abdomen.


The hollow organs inside our body have numerous cell layers in their walls which aid in keeping the contents and materials inside from leaking out. For example, the food materials which we consume can be found in our stomachs. When the food gets digested and the waste materials are formed, both of them can be found in our intestines. The urinary bladder stores the urine before our bodies expel it. The layers of cells make sure that these contents do not spill out. However, in case of a perforated viscus, these materials leak out of the organs into the body cavity, thus endangering the life of a person.

The following are perforated viscus causes that could be responsible for the same.
  • A viscus perforation can occur due to a number of reasons such as any injury or trauma caused to the abdomen due to some kind of an accident or a heavy object falling on the abdomen.
  • If a person has received gunshot wounds, it can cause the viscus to perforate.
  • Typhoid fever and certain infections and illnesses affecting the organs of the abdomen, can cause a perforated abdominal viscus.
  • People with gastric ulcers, biliary colic and women with certain gynecological problems like an ectopic pregnancy, a ruptured ovarian cyst or a ruptured uterus are at a greater risk of experiencing a rupturing in their viscus.
  • Bowel obstructions caused due to reasons such as hernia or fecal impaction or due to cancer can lead to a perforated viscus.
  • Certain intestinal conditions like Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, and appendicitis can also lead to this problem.
  • People suffering from cardiac diseases may experience a necrotic bowel, followed by rupturing of the viscus.

Since a perforated viscus is caused due to various reasons, its symptoms vary in accordance with the cause. Sometimes, the symptoms might be mild, while in other cases, they might be extremely severe. Some of the commonly observed symptoms are severe pain in the abdomen, stiffness in abdomen upon touching, increased heart rate, lowering of the blood pressure, fever, a feeling of nausea, sometimes leading to vomiting and abdominal distention.


Due to a perforated viscus, the contents of the hollow organs enter the body cavity and this can lead to bacteria build up; which in most cases, reaches the blood stream and can thus cause death. which is why, as soon as a perforated viscus occurs, the person should be rushed to a hospital for medical treatment.

The treatment depends upon its cause as well as the location. In most cases though, drug therapy along with open surgery is recommended. If this condition is caused due to some infection, then treatment for the same, along with surgery is administered to the patient.

A perforated viscus is a very serious condition in which the life of the person is at risk. So, taking the patient to a doctor is recommended so that immediate medical treatment can be given to save his life and restore him back to health.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.