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Conservative management of an abdominal gunshot injury with a peritoneal breach: wisdom or absurdity?
  1. Salma Khan1,
  2. Amyn Pardhan1,
  3. Tufail Bawa1,
  4. Naveed Haroon2
  1. 1Department of Surgery, Memon Medical Institute, Karachi, Pakistan
  2. 2Department of Surgery, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Aguascalientes, Pakistan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Naveed Haroon, naveed.haroon{at}


Surgical exploration has been the standard of care for abdominal gunshot injuries. The authors report a case of a 28-year-old man who sustained a transabdominal gunshot injury, which entered the anterior abdominal wall and exited adjacent to the T12 vertebra posteriorly with a tangential trajectory. On presentation, the patient was haemodynamically stable with no peritoneal signs. Based on trajectory of the bullet, intra-abdominal injury was suspected. Therefore a CT scan abdomen with intravenous and rectal contrast was performed. The CT scan revealed no extravasation of the rectal contrast but showed free air specks behind the descending colon. Delayed renal images of the left ureter were also normal. Based on the clinical findings, the patient was managed non-operatively with nothing per oral, intravenous antibiotics and frequent abdominal assessments. He made an uneventful recovery without necessitating laparotomy.

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