Sealing the hole: endoscopic management of acute gastrointestinal perforations.

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Acute perforations are one of the recognised complications of both diagnostic and therapeutic gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy. The incidence rate varies according to the type of procedure and the anatomical location within the GI tract. For decades, surgical treatment has been the standard of care, but endoscopic closure has become a more popular approach, due to feasibility and the reduction of the burden of surgery. Various devices are available now such as through-the-scope clips, over-the-scope clips, endoscopic suturing devices, stents, bands and omental patch. All have been tested in studies done on humans or animal models, with a reasonable overall technical and clinical success rate, proving efficiency and feasibility of endoscopic closure. The choice of which device to use depends on the site and the size of the perforation. It also depends on availability of thee device and the endoscopist’s experience. A number of factors that could predict success of endoscopic closure or favour surgical treatment have been suggested in different studies. After successful endoscopic closure, patients are usually kept nil by mouth and receive antibiotics for a duration that varied between different studies.

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