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Doctor insights on: Bowel Obstruction

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Dr. Herman Hammerstead
236 Doctors shared insights

Bowel Obstruction (Overview)

Occurs when either your small or large intestine is partly or completely blocked. The blockage prevents food, fluids, and gas from moving through the intestines in the normal way. The blockage may cause severe pain that comes and goes.


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Why and how does metastatic cancer cause bowel obstruction?

Why and how does metastatic cancer cause bowel obstruction?

Grows into intestine: Metastatic cancers can spread to the intestine or the area right next to it. It can grow into the intestine and cause an obstruction, or it can cause scarring that twists the intestine can causes this problem. ...Read more

Dr. Herman Hammerstead
236 Doctors shared insights

Bowel Obstruction (Overview)

Occurs when either your small or large intestine is partly or completely blocked. The blockage prevents food, fluids, and gas from moving through the intestines in the normal way. The blockage may cause severe pain that comes and goes.


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What are bowel obstruction symptoms?

What are bowel obstruction symptoms?

Pain and distension: First comes abdominal pain followed by abdominal swelling + tenderness. Then vomiting of stomach contents followed by greenish (bile)vomiting. May feel like passing flatus, but cannot + bowel movements will cease. Abdominal sounds will be absent due to ileus. Plain abdominal xray will demonstrate distended bowel loops with "air fluid levels. See dr. For severe pain, abdo distension + green vomitus. ...Read more

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Living with Bowel Incontinence (Checklist)

Do not be embarrassed to discuss your issues with your healthcare professional
once
Avoid trigger foods and activities
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Use over-the-counter bulking agents like fiber
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Use over-the-counter antidiarrheals
once
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What are the symptoms of bowel obstruction?

What are the symptoms of bowel obstruction?

Pain & vomiting: Diffuse cramping abdominal pains, recurrent vomiting, abdomen may become distended, lack of bowel movement. Usually the person would also have a history of some type of prior abdominal surgery. ...Read more

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Warning signs of a bowel obstruction? Is severe constipation still able to be relieved after 3-4wks w/o a bm?

Warning signs of a bowel obstruction? Is severe constipation still able to be relieved after 3-4wks w/o a bm?

Normal bowel habits: In addition to seeing a doc for your impaction you need to be evaluated for other causes of bowel impaction. You might need a bowel regimen, colonoscopy and close momitoring until you get back to normal...A daily bowel movement. ...Read more

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Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Checklist)

Try to notice and avoid precipitating factors
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Start a trial of increased dietary fiber
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See your primary care physician or gastroenterologist if symptoms persist
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How long to recover from major bowel obstruction?

How long to recover from major bowel obstruction?

Depends: It depends on whether it was managed conservatively with bowel rest or required surgery. Also depends on definition of recovery. If you refer to eating regular food and having bm's that can be 1-2 days but may take even longer depending on the degree of obstruction. If surgery was required, full recovery to unlimitted activity is 4-6 weeks. ...Read more

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My grandfather was diagnosed with a bowel obstruction is too sick to operate on they put him on comfort measures and sent him to the nursing home a dr?

Compassion & Care: It sounds like the doctors involved in your grandfather's care are providing compassion in not subjecting him to a painful operation that could have multiple complications, prolonged hospitalization, multiple procedures, and make his final days miserable. Sometimes the best choice is to give people pain medication, a quiet comfortable atmosphere, and time to be with their loved ones; this is good. ...Read more

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What are the tests for bowel obstruction?

What are the tests for bowel obstruction?

Physical examination: A true intestinal obstruction is an emergency condition. One should see a doctor immediately for a physical examination, the best "test." blood tests, x-ray, and possible ct scan may be the first tests performed. ...Read more

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If you have bowel obstruction can you still poop liquid everyday?

If you have bowel obstruction can you still poop liquid everyday?

Partial obstruction: Sometimes, when there is a mechanical bowel obstruction, liquids are the only types of bowel contents that will pass. Fecal impaction, whichever cause a partial blockage, is often accompanied by overflow incontinence or passage of liquid stool around the mass of hard stool. ...Read more

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My doc says I've got bowel obstruction. What does this mean?

My doc says I've got bowel obstruction. What does this mean?

R U in Hospital?: A bowel obstruction is a very serious problem that requires hospital management and, often, surgical treatment. Obstruction of the intestine causes an inability to take-in any nutrition by mouth, leading to dehydration and eventual vomiting, bloating, cramping pain, and an inability to move one's bowels. If it does not resolve, it inevitably leads to bowel perforation. ...Read more

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What can I do to treat bowel obstruction?

What can I do to treat bowel obstruction?

No home remedies: Bowel obstructions are potentially life-threatening emergencies that require urgent hospital evaluation and management: first, to diagnose the exact cause, and then to come up with a treatment plan. Some may simply require bowel rest, IV fluids, tube decompression of the stomach, and "time"; others will require emergency surgery. ...Read more

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Am I getting if my chronic constipation was treating with colace (docusate sodium) and a high fiber dietor am I prone to a bowel obstruction?

Am I getting if my chronic constipation was treating with colace (docusate sodium) and a high fiber dietor am I prone to a bowel obstruction?

Not really: Adding colace (docusate sodium) and high fiver diet is an excellent idea, however it can backfire if you don't drink more water than usual. ...Read more

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What is the best treatment for small bowel obstruction?

What is the best treatment for small bowel obstruction?

See doctor: If you have an acute small bowel obstruction you should get emergency care. There are several possibilities and you will likely need to be hospitalized for at least short period of time since you will likely not be able to eat or drink until issue is resolved. ...Read more

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What are some obvious symptoms of a bowel obstruction and what do they do for treatment?

Several: Abdominal colicky pain, abdominal distention, no stool or flatus, nausea, fever, vomitting. Initially, they need to confirm obstruction with an exam and an xray or ct scan. Then initially will be treated with complete bowel rest (nothing by mouth) and IV fluids, with or without a nasogastric tube. If it doesn't resolve in 24 hours surgery may be necessary. Good luck. ...Read more

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Which disease is it if segment of proximal jejunal thick without obvious intussesception with no proximal bowel obstruction is it cure in 17year adult?

Which disease is it if segment of proximal jejunal thick without obvious intussesception with no proximal bowel obstruction is it cure in 17year adult?

Probably benign: In the absence of any symptoms, other than gas, this is probably not serious. Segmental thickening of the small bowel is of uncertain significance. Some diseases such as Crohn's or infectious gastroenteritis, may have thickening, but these are usually associated with more clinical findings. If you are having diarrhea, bloody stool, moderate pain, weight loss, then see a gastroenterologist. ...Read more

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At risk of bowel obstruction due to scar tissue. How can I dissolve the scar tissue without surgery?

At risk of bowel obstruction due to scar tissue. How can I dissolve the scar tissue without surgery?

SBO: Unfortunately there are no non-surgical
ways to dissolve a sbo from scar tissue.

Sometimes some conservative measures such as nothing by mouth or nasogastric decompression and intravenous hydration can be attempted prior to surgical intervention. ...Read more

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Prevent abdominal adhesions from bowel obstruction?

Very difficult: Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that form inside the abdominal cavity after abdominal surgeries. Unfortunatel once you have them there's not much you can do to prevent a bowel obstruction in terms of diet or activity. Some people get obstructions frequently others never. If one occurs most times they can be managed without surgery but soetimes another surgery to free the intestines is necessary. ...Read more

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What should I not eat so I can avoid small bowel obstruction from scar tissue?

What should I not eat so I can avoid small bowel obstruction from scar tissue?

No connection: Small bowel obstruction from scar tissue (or adhesions) is caused by scarring that is external to the small intestine, usually caused by previous abdominal surgery or infection. I am not aware that any special diet will increase or decrease the risk of this happening. ...Read more

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How can I treat bowel obstruction?

You cannot: Bowel obstruction is a medical emergency and you should go to an er right away. It can be caused by foreign objects, tumors, serious vascular problems, bowel twisting, or an infolding termed intussecption. These may need surgical intervention and the er is the point of entry for the next steps. ...Read more

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Bowel obstruction how long to heal?

Bowel obstruction how long to heal?

Depends: Did you have surgery to treat the obstruction? Were you hospitalized and treated medically only? Are you describing bowel constipation? Takes 4-6 weeks to recover from surgery. Takes a few days to recover after medical treatment. Would need much more detailed medical information to answer further. ...Read more

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What are bowel obstruction symptoms?

Pain and distension: First comes abdominal pain followed by abdominal swelling + tenderness. Then vomiting of stomach contents followed by greenish (bile)vomiting. May feel like passing flatus, but cannot + bowel movements will cease. Abdominal sounds will be absent due to ileus. Plain abdominal xray will demonstrate distended bowel loops with "air fluid levels. See dr. For severe pain, abdo distension + green vomitus. ...Read more

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How is a bowel obstruction diagnosed?

How is a bowel obstruction diagnosed?

Combination: Bowel obstruction is diagnosed using a combination of patient history, physical exam, and scans (x-rays, ct, etc.). Sometimes the physical exam findings are so obvious that scans are not required. Some partial bowel obstructions can be very difficult to diagnose and may elude doctors and patients for months. ...Read more

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How to know if I have bowel obstruction?

How to know if I have bowel obstruction?

Swollen abdomen: Depending on the degree of obstruction and site, the abdomen enlarges, no passing of gas noted, developing of abdominal pain and possible vomiting depending on how distal the obstruction is. ...Read more

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What are the tests for bowel obstruction?

Physical examination: A true intestinal obstruction is an emergency condition. One should see a doctor immediately for a physical examination, the best "test." blood tests, x-ray, and possible ct scan may be the first tests performed. ...Read more

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What can I do to treat bowel obstruction?

No home remedies: Bowel obstructions are potentially life-threatening emergencies that require urgent hospital evaluation and management: first, to diagnose the exact cause, and then to come up with a treatment plan. Some may simply require bowel rest, IV fluids, tube decompression of the stomach, and "time"; others will require emergency surgery. ...Read more

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Please help me? What is bowel obstruction?

Intestinal blockage: Bowel obstruction can involve either the small or large intestine. There are many causes of obstruction - for the large intestine, masses including cancer, inflammation or twisting (volvulus), for the small intestine, scar tissue from previous surgery, congenital twisting, congenital band, tumor or hernia. Partial obstruction may resolve without surgery but complete obstruction requires surgery. ...Read more

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How to know if I have a bowel obstruction?

Bowel obstruction: If you are vomiting green that smells like stool. No stool or gas. Unremitting abdominal pain. Distension. Tympany the abdomen when thumped sounds like a drum. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of bowel obstruction?

Pain & vomiting: Diffuse cramping abdominal pains, recurrent vomiting, abdomen may become distended, lack of bowel movement. Usually the person would also have a history of some type of prior abdominal surgery. ...Read more

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What can you eat after a bowel obstruction?

It varies: With severity, extent, and cause, of obstruction. It is not possible to get any more specific. Ask your GI specialist or surgeon for advice. ...Read more

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How do I know if I have a bowel obstruction?

Common symptoms: Are crampy abdominal pain, abdominal distention, nausea, vomiting, and obstipation, in someone who has had previous abdominal surgery or has a hernia. Only medical evaluation will differentiate intestinal obstruction from other causes of abdominal pain. You need to seek immediate medical attention if you have these symptoms. ...Read more

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What organs are affected by bowel obstruction?

The bowel: The intestines and stomach directly.

The lungs indirectly.

A bowel obstruction can lead to significant vomiting which can lead to aspiration and then a pneumonia. ...Read more

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What happens if you ignore a bowel obstruction?

What happens if you ignore a bowel obstruction?

Serious: A true bowel obstruction is most commonly from adhesions or scar from past surgery. A true bowel obstruction results in increasing abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, lack of bowel movement, dehydration. The bowel is at risk for ischemia or internal rupture. It can result in serious sepsis and death if untreated. Note: constipation alone is not a true bowel obstruction. ...Read more

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How long to recover from major bowel obstruction?

Depends: It depends on whether it was managed conservatively with bowel rest or required surgery. Also depends on definition of recovery. If you refer to eating regular food and having bm's that can be 1-2 days but may take even longer depending on the degree of obstruction. If surgery was required, full recovery to unlimitted activity is 4-6 weeks. ...Read more

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How to tell if a bowel obstruction is going away?

How to tell if a bowel obstruction is going away?

GI symptoms improve: When your belly pain and nausea start to improve and you can pass gas or have a bowel movement. ...Read more

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What does it feel like to have a bowel obstruction?

What does it feel like to have a bowel obstruction?

Lousy.: A small bowel obstruction usually occurs due to scar tissue from prior abdominal surgery, causing the bowel to kink like a garden hose. This causes the intestinal contents to back up, leading to cramping abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and, most tellingly, the absence of passage of stool or gas--we call this obstipation. Management requires hospitalization and sometimes even surgery. ...Read more

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What symptoms does someone with bowel obstruction have?

Pain, vomiting, etc.: A bowel obstruction causes generalized, cramping abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, distention, and the absence of passage of gas or stool (obstipation). ...Read more

Intestine (Definition)

The gastrointestinal tract starts at the mouth, travel down the tunnel (esophagus), which connects to the stomach, which then empties into the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum---the three parts of the small intestine (@25 feet). This empties into the colon or large intestine (about 5 feet), which then becomes the sigmoid colon, rectum and out the anus. So, every morsel eaten ...Read more


Obstruction (Definition)

Anything that creates a blockage of the intestinal tract. You may think of the intestinal tract (stomach, small bowel, large bowel) as somewhat akin to a garden hose. If you kink the garden hose, or twist it, or block it inside, you have created an "obstruction". Most obstructions are a results of previous surgery and most of these ...Read more