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Fecal Peritonitis - What is this?

By: Jody Ehrhardt - Updated: 8 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
Peritonitis Fecal Peritonitis Peritoneal


My sister has recently died of fecal peritonitis I think it is something to do with the bowel? Can you enlighten me please.

(Ms Patricia Smith, 30 November 2008)


Fecal peritonitis is a medical condition that affects the peritoneal cavity. The abdominal cavity, the space in the body that houses such internal organs as the stomach, liver, and kidneys, is lines with two layers called the peritoneum that holds the abdominal cavity in place and allows movement between the body and the abdominal cavity. The space between these two layers is called the peritoneal cavity.

What Is Peritonitis?

Peritonitis is the term used to describe the inflammation of the peritoneal cavity or the membrane layers that create the peritoneal cavity. When these two layers become inflamed, irritated, or infected the sufferers experience abdominal pain and other symptoms.

What Causes Peritonitis?

Peritonitis can have many causes but the most common is the introduction of a foreign substance in to the cavity that causes infection. Ulcers, intestinal infections, inflammatory bowel disease, and appendicitis can all result in perforations of the stomach, intestines, or duodenum and allow the leakage of fluid into the peritoneal cavity. These fluids cause infection that inflames the layers.

With fecal peritonitis fecal matters is allowed into the cavity through a tear in the intestines. Intestinal disease, which leads to a weakening and break down of the intestinal wall, and certain medical procedures, such as endoscopes where a tube with a camera is inserted into the rectum in order to view the intestines, can result in tearing of the intestinal wall.

What Are The Symptoms Of Fecal Peritonitis?

Fecal peritonitis results in the same symptoms as other forms of peritonitis: abdominal pain, abdominal tenderness, and rigidness of the abdominal wall. Other symptoms that may present include weight loss, fever, increased heart rate, and constipation or diarrhoea. Other symptoms can be present depending on the original cause of the perforation and the body organs that are affected by that perforation.

What Is The Treatment For Peritonitis?

Most cases of peritonitis are treated with antibiotics (to kill the infection present in the body), and intravenous rehydration (to replace fluids lost through decreased digestion). Usually more than one antibiotic is necessary in order to properly treat all of the stages and causes of infection and ensure the total destruction of the infections cause. Surgery to repair the perforation is almost always necessary also. This surgery, called a laparotomy, allows the doctor to close the perforation and clean out the peritoneal cavity to help prevent further infection.

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I lost my mum last yr to this she also was in alot of pain the nhs sucks coz if they acted faster she would he here today instead of us still grieving for our mum she was only 69 the nhs treated her terrible..and so rude its unreal they dont care less.just another number to them
Lynda - 8-Mar-17 @ 9:46 AM
Ooops...My comment below was meant to be in reply to another question about bowel thickness. Sorry..
HeyJude - 11-Mar-16 @ 1:19 PM
I have 38 year history of Çrohns. My latest CT in January 2016 shows my bowel thickness in area of 5 previous bowel resections in small intestines and iliem to be 9mm. I don't know what normal bowel thickness should be. I do know inflammation, infections and IBD can lead to bowel thickness and in some cases strictured bowel leading to obstruction as has been the case with me. I hope you have got answers and are doing better.
HeyJude - 11-Mar-16 @ 1:11 PM
I mean I feel sorry for all the people below
Surfer girl - 15-Jan-15 @ 9:32 PM
I feel so badly for all of you people above. Iam here scared because I was told I have thick bowel wall and it's not a good thing for me because I have let this problem go on for a long time because I was afraid. Well I hear your stories and I should not be thinking the way iam when people like you guys have gone through hell and back. Again I am so sorry for your loss and sorry for your mom that was treated so badly that's just wrong. I wouldn't go to that hospital the odds are against them.
Surfer girl - 15-Jan-15 @ 9:31 PM
WOW, we lost our beloved mom on 31-05-12 to fecal peritonitis, carcinoma of recto sigmoid and aspirational pnuemonia..... This is after I asked the hospital staff if my moms bowel was perforated following an op to fit a stoma, she was vomiting brown liquid and also her urine was contaminated with the same brown stuff. Members of my family was told it was bile that she was bringing up!!! The aftercare what mom received was diabolical and nobody would listen to our fears. Even with the bowel cancer she was expected to live for at least 18 months.... How the hell can 18 months be shortened to less than 4 weeks? WE NEED ANSWERS..... Mom died in pure agony and thats what hurts me the most. I will not let it rest cos the truth is NHS YOU KILLED OUR MOM. The only saving grace is that mom is finally reunited with our dad who passed on 25-12-10. Father God I ask that you care for my parents until we can be reunited... AMEN
Cherry - 8-Jun-12 @ 10:29 AM
I feel terrible for you guys seems you have had terrible luck with the NHS but my mum is currently in ITU due to a perforated bowel and fecal peritonitis and the staff have been amazing, so competent and so caring. I just don't see how she could have got better care anywhere in the world. She is still critical but improving day by day. Luckily she is a strong 55 year old and I'm pretty sure she could stop a bolting horse with one arm tied behind her! I genuinely feel for you but I can't allow the NHS to be rubbished and not speak up I feel they deserve at least that from me. Best of luck to everyone.
Oliver Hutton - 22-Mar-12 @ 4:25 PM
I feel for both of you I also had bowel surgery back in 2007 they pierced my bowel I was left for days vomitting green stuff which was fecal matter nobody noticed ??? it got so bad I ended up having three operations in a week then ended up with an colostomy bag and in intensive care as my lungs collapsed due to perontinitus through fecal matter, I was on life support for weeks if it hadnt been for one good friend keep checking and askingn questions I truly believe I would of died, I have no family they like that no one to answer to, I was only 43 at the time my health has gone downhill since I have fybromyalgia. and I have now been told I have copd at my age I believe the problems with my lungs were caused through the perontintus I will never trust any doctor in the nhs hospitals again I never did sue as I didnt think I would get anywhere my life is pure hell , I do hope you get the medical care you deserve unlike me goodluck take care I do hope tour father gets better just watch everything and keep asking whats going it will be a long recovery I will pray for him take care
kas - 14-Feb-12 @ 11:51 PM
My dad is in ICU at the time I write this,I have read your comment and everything you have put is the same for my Dad,we have had the consultant chat with us today and her words have destroyed all of us the family.But my dear dad is fighting this terrible disease due to there lack of care,With the prime minister telling us the NHS is improving, would like him to show as to where.As we have seen no evidence of this,I hope and PRAY with all my heart my dad is strong enough to pull through this and we are able to bring him home.
cressy - 3-Jan-12 @ 3:57 PM
My mother suffered fecal peritonitis back in the 90's due to the consultant negligently Perforating her sigmoid colon during a routine laparoscopy. She was released as day case. Within 24 hours she was in severe pain and re-admitted with suspected bowel injury. Thanks to the incompetence of the hospital (UK NHS) she was left for three days before a general surgeon saw her and rushed her into theatre. He had to perform a colostomy, she had generalised fecal peritonitis and as not expected to survive. To add insult to injury, during the emergency laparotomy an incompetent anesthetist allowed her to swallow stomach fluid into her lungs causing aspiration and the creme de la creme was putting the drip line into the charotid artery causing my poor mum to have stroke. They also had to perform a tracaeotomy in the ICU as she couldn't cough up the phlegm. After 6 months the colostomy was reversed, and THEN my mum developped epilepsy. After 6 years she got compensation.... no way near enough as they ruined. Her life and made her suffer. We also suffered. She recovered however now the full effects of the stroke are showing. She is the shell of what she used to be and will have pain al her love. The final legacy from that nightmare hospital and incompetent surgeon is that she has now been diagnosed with Pulmunary Fibrosis. The British medical negligence system is wicked. I remember how poor Katherine Zeta Jones sued Hello Magazine for millions because they printed a wedding pic with her eating cake and she was emotionally damaged because she didn't want the public to think all she did was eat!!!! My mum was ruined and destroyed both physically and emotionally and even though the medical reports showed the hospital was negligent the callously tried every ploy to get us to settle. We eventually did settle out of court as my parents were on the verge of a breakdown. So yes, fecal peritonitis is deadly and if not treated can ruin your life or even kill you. God bless you, Mum. At least the Good Lord spared you.
Riyadh1974 - 3-Dec-11 @ 3:22 PM
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