Intestinal Obstruction

Friday, August 19, 2011

Intestinal obstruction is a blockage of your small intestine or colon that prevents food and fluid from passing through. It can be very dangerous if left untreated. Dr. Edward Hill passes along more information about this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Intestinal obstruction is when there is a blockage in the small or large intestine that prevents food from passing through.

The most serious complication of intestinal obstruction is a loss of the blood supply to the digestive tract. This can cause part of the intestine to die. When this happens, the pressure can cause a leak that spreads bacteria into the body or blood stream. This kind of infection can be life threatening.

The most common symptoms are not being able to pass gas or have a bowel movement, and nausea, vomiting, bloating, abdominal swelling and pain. The pain of intestinal obstruction usually comes in sharp waves and then gets better for awhile.

People who have had abdominal surgery are at risk because of scar tissue from the surgery. Hernias can cause an obstruction. Obstructions can also be caused by a tumor.

If you think you have an obstruction, call your doctor right away or go to the emergency room.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.