Intestinal obstruction is a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through your small intestine or large intestine (colon). Intestinal obstruction may be caused by fibrous bands of tissue in the abdomen (adhesions) which form after surgery, infected or inflamed pouches in your intestine (diverticulitis), hernias and tumors. Without treatment, the obstructed parts of the intestine can die, directing to serious problems. However, with provoked medical care, this obstruction can be frequently successfully treated. |
Symptoms Presages of intestinal obstruction comprise of: • Crampy abdominal pain that varies • Nausea • Vomiting • Diarrhea • Constipation • Disability to have a bowel movement or pass gas • Swelling of the abdomen (distention)
Causes: • Intestinal adhesions — bands of fibrous tissue in the abdominal cavity that can form after pelvic or abdominal surgery • Hernias — portions of intestine that stick out into another part of your body • Tumors in the small intestine • Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease • Twisting of the intestine (volvulus) • Telescoping of the intestine (intussusception)
Risk factors Conditions and diseases that can raise your risk of intestinal obstruction include: • Abdominal or pelvic surgery frequently causes adhesions — a common intestinal obstruction • Crohn's disease can cause the intestine's walls to thicken, limiting the passageway • Cancer in your abdomen, especially if you've had surgery to remove an abdominal tumor or radiation therapy
Complications Untreated, intestinal obstruction can induce severe, life-threatening complications, which embraces: • Tissue death. Intestinal obstruction can cut off the blood supply to part of your intestine. Deficiency of blood causes the intestinal wall to die. Tissue death can outcome in a tear (perforation) in the intestinal wall, which can direct to infection. • Infection. Peritonitis is the medical term for infection in the abdominal cavity. It's a life-threatening situation that requires instant medical and frequent surgical attention.
Treatment: Treatment for intestinal obstruction relies on the cause of your condition, but commonly requires hospitalization. Hospitalization to settle the condition: When you arrive at the hospital, the doctors will first work to make you stable so that you can undergo treatment. This process may embrace: • Putting an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your arm so that fluids can be given • Putting a nasogastric (NG) tube via your nose and into your stomach to suck out air and fluid and alleviate abdominal swelling • Placing a thin, flexible tube (catheter) into your bladder to drain urine and collect it for testing
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