A 50-year-old member asked:
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what is the difference between a large bowel obstruction and a small bowel obstruction?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Arkady Broder
13 years experience Gastroenterology
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.
Answered on Jul 16, 2016
Dr. Myron Arlen
63 years experience Surgical Oncology
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.
Answered on May 11, 2014

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A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Raymundo Romero
21 years experience Medical Oncology
SIMPLE: Same mechanism just different part of the bowel being affected. Either the small or large bowel.
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A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
38 years experience General Surgery
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 s ... Read More
A 39-year-old female asked:
Dr. Kelsey Phelps
8 years experience Family Medicine
CT Scan: Yes, a CT scan with contrast of the abdomen and pelvis will typically show a bowel obstruction in the intestines, if there is one present. Thanks for ... Read More
A 29-year-old female asked:
Dr. Shaym Puppala
24 years experience Internal Medicine
See below: Presentation can vary. The pain from a small bowel obstruction tends to be severe, accompanied by vomiting, &high-pitched tinkling bowel sounds. ... Read More
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