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Doctor insights on: What Happens With An Untreated Bowel Obstruction

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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

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


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I just had a bowel obstruction and surgery for the first time in my life dr said should have never happened. a week later i am having same symptoms c?

I just had a bowel obstruction and surgery for the first time in my life dr said should have never happened.  a week later i am having same symptoms c?

See your Dr: If you are developing the same symptoms as before the surgery you should see your surgeon or ER doctor as soon as possible. It's unlikely you have another bowel obstruction and more likely your bowels have not "woken up" completely yet, but to be sure you should have some x-rays at the very least. ...Read more

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How can I treat bowel obstruction?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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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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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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

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


Dr. Tiffanie Noonan
236 doctors shared insights

Bowel Obstruction (Definition)

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 ...Read more