Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Blocked Small Intestine Overview

Another name for Blocked Small Intestine is Intestinal Obstruction.

What is an intestinal obstruction?
A person with an intestinal obstruction has a blockage in the intestine that does not allow food or stool to pass through the intestine. With treatment, most people with an intestinal obstruction recover completely.

What are the symptoms of an intestinal obstruction?
Symptoms of an intestinal obstruction include abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, abdominal tenderness, constipation, diarrhea, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

How does the doctor treat an intestinal obstruction?
Initial treatment for an intestinal obstruction is a nasogastric tube, which is inserted into the nostril, down the throat and esophagus, and into the stomach. The tube is attached to a pump, which removes air and digested food. This relieves pressure that has built up behind the obstructed portion of the intestine. Most of the time, the obstruction resolves. Additional treatment for an intestinal obstruction may include intravenous fluids and pain medications. In some cases, colonoscopy or surgery may be required, in order to relieve the intestinal obstruction.

Continue to Blocked Small Intestine Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Blocked Small Intestine References
  1. De Giorgio R, Sarnelli G, Corinaldesi R, Stanghellini V. Advances in our understanding of the pathology of chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction. Gut. 2004 Nov;53(11):1549-52. [15479666]
  2. Franklin ME Jr, Gonzalez JJ Jr, Miter DB, Glass JL, Paulson D. Laparoscopic diagnosis and treatment of intestinal obstruction. Surg Endosc. 2004 Jan;18(1):26-30. [14625729]
  3. Hajivassiliou CA. Intestinal obstruction in neonatal/pediatric surgery. Semin Pediatr Surg. 2003 Nov;12(4):241-53. [14655163]
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