Perforated Peptic Ulcers

The ulcer may suddenly perforate, or penetrate the wall of the stomach or duodenum. If this is not sealed off by an adjacent organ, it constitutes an abdominal emergency. This is more likely to occur with a duodenal ulcer than a gastric ulcer (5:1 in men, but only 2:1 in women). The ulcer may be an acute or chronic (long-standing) one. There is a decided high-mortality risk with this complication, and this is related to the time loss from its occurrence to the time it is successfully treated. The longer the delay, the greater the risk.

Perforated Peptic Ulcers Symptoms

The clinical picture is usually straightforward. There is sudden onset of acute abdominal pain, aggravated by movement, and in fifty percent of cases the pain is referred to the shoulder. The majority, about seventy percent give a history of dyspepsia. Often there is nausea and some vomiting. The abdominal wall, normally soft, becomes hard and rigid. Paleness, increased heart rate and sweating also occur.

Perforated Peptic Ulcers Treatment

This requires immediate emergency surgical intervention, and over-sewing of the perforation or perhaps surgical removal of the ulcer itself. The patient must be hospitalized as quickly as possible.