Actor and former ‘Friends’ star Matthew Perry is recovering after recently undergoing major abdominal surgery to “repair a gastrointestinal perforation”.

A representative for the 48 year old star told E! on Wednesday (August 8th) that Perry “recently underwent surgery in a Los Angeles hospital to repair a gastrointestinal perforation… He is grateful for the concern and asks for continued privacy as he heals.”

A gastrointestinal perforation is a hole in the wall of part of the gastrointestinal tract, and usually requires emergency surgery. Commonly, it’s called a ruptured bowel but can refer to a tear in the throat, stomach, small intestine, or large intestine. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and tenderness, and can be caused by various factors such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or appendicitis.

Matthew PerryMatthew Perry is recovering after emergency surgery

Perry rocketed to fame in the Nineties when he played Chandler Bing in ‘Friends’ for ten seasons until 2004 alongside Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc.

More: Matthew Perry doesn’t remember filming three seasons of ‘Friends’ due to addiction struggles [archive]

Subsequently, he has sought a career in film and on the stage, but has been more visible in the media when discussing his battles with addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs.

He told the BBC two years ago that, because of his situation, he didn’t actually remember filming around three years of ‘Friends’, revealing that between series three and six he was very often “a little bit out of it”.

Perry told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015: “I've had a lot of ups and downs in my life and a lot of wonderful accolades, but the best thing about me is that if an alcoholic comes up to me and says, 'Will you help me stop drinking?' I will say, 'Yes. I know how to do that’.”

More: Janice from ‘Friends’ reveals how her trademark laugh came about