Matthew Perry was rushed to hospital in Los Angeles earlier this week for an emergency operation to repair a gastrointestinal perforation.

A statement released to People about the former 'Friends' star read: "Matthew 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, also known as ruptured bowel, is a hole in the wall of part of the gastrointestinal tract. The gastrointestinal tract includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and tenderness.

Perry, 48, has been open about his health struggles in the past, including his years-long battle with alcohol and Vicodin, although he has been sober since 2001 and has become something of a figurehead for addiction and drug rehabilitation.

Here's hoping the actor makes a speedy recovery.