Intestinal Obstruction

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

An intestinal obstruction occurs when either your small or large intestine is partially or completely blocked. It is a life-threatening condition and should be treated immediately. Dr. Edward Hill discusses intestinal obstruction in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Intestinal obstruction is a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through your small intestine or large intestine.

Intestinal obstruction may be caused by fibrous bands of tissue in the abdomen which form after surgery, inflamed or infected pouches in your intestine, hernias and tumors. Signs and symptoms of intestinal obstruction include:

Crampy abdominal pain that comes and goes

Nausea and vomiting


Inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas, and

Swelling of the abdomen

Untreated, intestinal obstruction can cause serious, life-threatening complications, including:

Tissue death, which can result in a tear in the intestinal wall, and

Infection. Peritonitis, infection in the abdominal cavity, is a life-threatening condition.

Because of the serious complications that can develop from intestinal obstruction, seek immediate medical care if you have severe abdominal pain or other symptoms of intestinal obstruction.

Treatment for intestinal obstruction depends on the cause of your condition, but generally requires hospitalization. However, with prompt medical care, intestinal obstruction often can be successfully treated.

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