[Pneumoperitoneum after jacuzzi bathing — an unusual cause for the development of intraperitoneal free air]

Akos Farics, Eva Simon, Krisztina Parti, József Bátorfi
Magyar Sebészet 2013, 66 (2): 62-6
Free air within the intraperitoneal cavity most frequently occurs in conjunction with perforation of a hollow viscus and requires urgent surgical intervention. However, approximately 10% of all cases of pneumoperitoneum may not be correlated with disruption of the gastroinestinal tract. In the literature this condition is termed "nonsurgical" (NS) pneumoperitoneum and usually requires conservative management. NS pneumoperitoneum can be classified into the following categories: abdominal, thoracic, gynecologic, and idiopathic. We present a rare case of NS pneumoperitoneum. A 61-year-old woman who underwent a hysterectomy previously is admitted with diffuse abdominal pain without any other symptoms. Chest and abdominal radiographs verified the presence of free air under the diaphragm. We performed an exploration but no evidence of perforated viscus or peritonitis was found. Finally the patient told us that her complaints developed during Jacuzzi usage. We thought therefore that air entered into the intraperitoneal cavity through the vagina by influence of high pressure douche. In the course of postoperative gynecological examination a vaginoperitoneal fistula was detected in the vault which is developed during Jacuzzi usage leading to NS pneumoperitoneum. Essentially, NS pneumoperitoneum usually occurs without signs and symptoms of peritonitis and requires conservative treatment. Detailed physical examination and medical history taking can help to avoid unnecessary surgery in spite of radiological evidence of intraperitoneal free air.

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