Diagnosis & Treatments for Spontaneous Intestinal Perforation (SIP)
Diagnosis of SIP
If your baby’s pediatrician (a doctor who specializes in treating children) suspects that they may have SIP, your baby may need one or more of the following tests:
- Blood test. Testing your baby’s blood can show a high white blood cell count. This may indicate your baby has an infection due to the perforation (hole) in the intestines. White blood cells fight infection and other illness in the body.
- X-ray. Your baby’s doctor may use X-ray imaging to get detailed pictures of your baby’s abdomen and locate the exact location of the perforation (hole).
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan. This imaging test uses X-rays from several angles to create detailed pictures of your baby’s abdomen (belly) and locate the perforation's (hole’s) exact location.
- Ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to create detailed images of the inside of your child’s body, and look for air or abnormal fluid outside the intestines.
Treatments for SIP
If your baby has SIP, they will need surgery to repair the perforation (hole) as soon as possible.
Surgery for SIP will be performed either in an operating room at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital, or at your child’s bedside in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital. During this procedure, your baby will be under general anesthesia (fully asleep). During surgery, your baby’s surgeon will repair the hole. Your baby will temporarily spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) after surgery to ensure their intestines are working correctly.
Depending on your baby’s exact situation and location of the intestinal hole, they may need a temporary ileostomy or colostomy bag while their intestines heal. The bag connects the large intestine to an opening a surgeon makes in the abdomen. Ostomy bags collect your baby’s stool outside the body. If needed, your baby’s surgeon will attach the bag at the same time as surgery to repair the perforation. After a few months, your child should be able to pass stool normally, and a doctor can remove the colostomy bag and reconnect their intestines.
Home care after surgery
Your baby’s care team will advise you of any specialized diet or feeding needs for your baby. If your baby needs an ostomy bag, you will receive detailed instructions on caring for it by the nursing staff and the surgery team.
Find the closest ER to you
If you suspect that your child may have a spontaneous intestinal perforation, or SIP, find the closest emergency room to you so your child can start on the road to improved health.