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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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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. Eric Weisman
232 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