Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Hypopharyngeal perforation: an uncommon cause of pneumoperitoneum
  1. S A A Woodcock,
  2. H Bird,
  3. A K Siriwardena,
  4. S Ellenbogen
  1. Department of Surgery, Tameside General Hospital, Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire
  2. Department of Anaesthetics, Tameside General Hospital
  3. Department of Surgery, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester
  1. Correspondence to: Mr Woodcock, Department of Surgery, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK (sean.woodcock{at}


Endotracheal intubation is common practice being performed both electively and as an emergency. Complications of this procedure are uncommon. A case is described of hypopharyngeal rupture after emergency intubation that presented with a pneumoperitoneum. The clinical signs, relevant investigations and management options are discussed for this injury and the need is emphasised for a high index of suspicion in order to make an early diagnosis.

  • hypopharyngeal perforation
  • endotracheal intubation

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors

    S A A Woodcock initiated and coordinated the writing up of the case, reviewed the case notes, carried out a MEDLINE search and co-wrote the paper. H Bird helped in the initial appraisal of the case. A K Siriwardena helped evaluate the relative importance of aspects of the case and co-wrote the paper. S Ellenbogen discussed core ideas relating to the paper and is the guarantor.