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A 50-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between a large bowel obstruction and a small bowel obstruction?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arkady Broder
15 years experience
Different casues: Unfortunately large bowel obstruction, particularly in adults, is almost always due to malignancy. Small bowel obstruction on the other hand more commonly occurs from benign conditions, especially in patients who have had prior abdominal surgery. Both conditions would require an imaging test and likely surgery to repair.
Dr. Myron Arlen
Surgical Oncology 65 years experience
Different causes: Small bowel obstruction is rarely due to a lesion or intussuception. It is mostly due to adhesions from previous surgery. Large bowel does not obstruct from adhesions but usually an intraluminal lesion such as carcinoma of colon.

Similar questions

A 40-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between small bowel obstruction and large bowel obstruction?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Raymundo Romero
Medical Oncology 23 years experience
SIMPLE: Same mechanism just different part of the bowel being affected. Either the small or large bowel.
A 35-year-old member asked:

How to differentiat small bowel obstruction from large bowel obstruction? Medical

1 doctor answer5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
Surgery 40 years experience
Difficult: Without a physical exam and full medical history. Usually a small bowel obstruction will not occur unless there is scar tissue from a past abdominal surgery. Small bowel obstruction can have abdominal pain with frequent vomiting. Large bowel obstruction is less common & can be from cancer or diverticulitis. Lack of bowel movement with colon obstruction. True bowel obstruction can be very serious.
A 43-year-old member asked:

Can you tell me what do you do about a large bowel obstruction?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
Surgery 40 years experience
Bowel obstruction: A true bowel obstruction can be a surgical emergency. Large bowel obstruction is relatively uncommon ; usually is from obstructing diverticulitis or cancer ; may need emergency surgery. Colon blockage from constipation is treated with laxatives ; sometimes enemas.

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Last updated Jul 16, 2016

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