Peritonitis is an infection of the interior lining of the abdomen. If the condition is left untreated, it can be dangerous.
The lining of the abdomen or peritoneum covers the internal organs such as the liver, kidneys and the bowel. Once this lining is infected, the internal organs it covers might also be damaged.
This is likely to occur due to the following:
- Ruptured appendix
- Ruptured stomach ulcer
- Digestive issues such as diverticulitis and Crohn’s disease
- Stomach injuries
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
Management of peritonitis
If an individual has been diagnosed with peritonitis, hospitalization is necessary to deal with the infection which takes around 10-14 days.
The treatment typically involves the administration of intravenous antibiotics. In case the condition was brought about by kidney dialysis treatment, the antibiotics are directly injected into the stomach lining.
Since it is difficult to digest food if peritonitis is present, a feeding tube might be inserted into the stomach via the nose or positioned within the stomach with keyhole surgery. In case a feeding tube could not be utilized, liquid nutrients can be administered directly into one of the veins.
Is surgery required?
In case a region of the stomach lining is severely impaired by infection, surgery is an option to remove it.
Oftentimes, an abscess might form in the lining and requires drainage using a needle under local anesthetic. In some cases, an operation to deal with the cause of peritonitis is suggested.