We use cookies to so our web site can function correctly. By Clicking "OK" or by clicking into any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more visit the cookies section of our privacy policy.

Privacy Statement

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

Cookie group mandatory

(Req)
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

These cookies are required

Functional

These cookies allow us to adtertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal inforation is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from HCA only

Marketing

These cookies allow us to advertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal inforation is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from HCA only

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site.  All information collect is annonomas unless you provide personal information to us.
If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

Peritonitis

Inflammation of the walls of the abdomen causes and symptoms

HCA UK experts talk you through the main symptoms of peritonitis and explain why it’s important to be treated quickly

About

The peritoneum is the inner lining of the abdomen (tummy). When this becomes infected, it causes peritonitis which means inflammation. This can rapidly spread around the body infecting other organs covered by this lining, such as the kidneys, liver and bowel.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of peritonitis icon plus

    Common causes of peritonitis include:
    • a burst stomach ulcer or a burst appendix
    • digestive problems, such as Crohn's disease or diverticulitis
    • pelvic inflammatory disease
    • pancreatitis
    • surgery
    • injury to the stomach
    • cirrhosis

    If you notice any of the following symptoms of peritonitis it’s important to see your GP immediately, or go to A&E:
    • sudden tummy pain that gets worse when you touch it
    • a high temperature of 38°C or above
    • rapid heartbeat
    • difficulty urinating, or peeing much less than normal

    Other symptoms include a lack of appetite, swollen tummy, feeling sick and vomiting.
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    If you experience any of the symptoms, it’s important to see a GP or consultant quickly as serious complications like sepsis can happen if the infection spreads. If it’s left untreated, peritonitis can even be life-threatening.

    In order to diagnose peritonitis, your consultant may carry out one or more of the following tests:
    • blood test
    • x-ray or ultrasound
    • fluid analysis (taking a fluid sample from the peritoneum using a thin needle)

    If you're diagnosed with peritonitis, hospital treatment will be needed to clear up the infection.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Treatment usually involves up to two weeks of antibiotics given via a needle into the vein. If the infection was caused by peritoneal dialysis (kidney failure treatment), antibiotics may be injected directly into the peritoneum (lining of your tummy).

    If the infection has made serious damage to the stomach lining, you may need surgery to remove it.

    Some people develop abscesses in the lining. These are drained with a needle using a local anaesthetic.

    It’s common to have problems digesting food, so you may need a feeding tube. This will be either passed into your stomach through your nose, or placed inside your stomach using keyhole surgery.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
back to top