46-year-old Ibrahim came to Mercy Hospital with symptoms consistent with severe peptic ulcer disease, an increasingly common condition in Sierra Leone. Poor diet, smoking, excessive drinking, and extreme stress are all major contributors to peptic ulcer. The average Sierra Leonean diet is protein and nutrition deficient, which may contribute to the country's very high rate of peptic ulcer disease, one of the highest in the world.
Untreated peptic ulceration can cause gastric perforation, bowel obstruction or peritonitis, resulting in the death of the patient. Perforated peptic ulcer is a frequent emergency condition worldwide, with a mortality rate up to 30%.
The Mercy surgical team performed an ultra sound and abominal x-ray on Ibrahim, confirming the diagnosis of peptic ulcer disease. An emergency laparotomy was performed and omentum patch applied to repair the ulcer.
"I am forever grateful to the surgeons," Ibrahim said following the surgery. He received post-operative drugs for pain and to prevent infection, and was released.