A 17-year-old male asked:
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can u see intestinal obstruction with an abdominal x-ray?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Charles Cattano
38 years experience Gastroenterology
Sure...: That's typically how it's diagnosed. Depending on duration and cause, the gut just before the obstruction usually distends with air and fluid, while the gut past the obstruction empties and collapses.
Answered on Jun 8, 2017
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Dr. Barry Rosen
33 years experience General Surgery
Yes: Air usually accumulates in the intestine upstream from a point of obstruction. This pattern can be well visualized on plain abdominal x-rays, especially when the images are taken with the patient standing and laying down. We call this x-ray an obstructive series. However, the gold standard for diagnosing an obstruction is a ct scan.
Answered on Dec 9, 2017
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