Emergency surgery saves life of tourist with ruptured bowel


A happy vacation turned into a harrowing, life-threatening situation for 48-year-old Frank Wehner, a German tourist who was rushed to RAK Hospital, Ras Al Khaimah, with a ruptured bowel and unbearable abdominal pain. Quick-thinking surgeons saved his life with an emergency laparoscopic surgery.

The prompt diagnosis and timely medical intervention by RAK Hospital’s highly skilled surgical team, allowed the patient to leave the hospital within just four days and return to Germany pain free and healthy.

Wehner’s blood and radiological test at the hospital indicated he had had a history of colonic diverticular disease, a condition where small bulges or pockets develop in the lining of the large intestine and can result in a hole or tear in the large bowel. The patient was also suffering from severe stomach ache, nausea and loss of appetite for more than a day.

In order to stabilise his condition, doctors at the hospital immediately shifted the patient to ICU, and gave him supportive medication. Later, the same day, Wehner underwent a successful laparoscopic surgery to treat the ruptured bowel. Elaborating on the case, Dr Anoop Panigraphi, specialist surgeon and head of the department for minimal-access surgery at the hospital said: “The condition of the patient was critical because a hole or tear in the large bowel means intestinal contents such as bacteria, partially-digested food and stool can spill inside the abdomen and cause serious infection. This infection is known as Sepsis, and, if not diagnosed and treated at an early stage, is actually life-threatening,” said Dr Panigraohi.

He added that it was vital for people not to ignore the signs of Sepsis. “It is essential when people suffer from constant abdominal pain, they should not take it lightly and urgently contact a doctor. This one step can save their lives,” stressed Dr Panigrahi, “In this case, even though Wehner was aware of his condition and was being treated for it, he still landed in a life-threatening situation because he neglected the severe pain for a day.”

Dr Panigraphi said the condition occurs in 10 per cent of people over the age of 40 with the incidents increasing with age. As per a report, globally, one in three people can potentially die of infections caused by bowel ruptures.

Wehner thanked the doctors for saving his life.


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