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Bowel Obstruction Questions

Bowel obstruction is a medical term used to describe a partial or complete blockage of the small or large intestine. A person who has a bowel obstruction may experience excessive pain that may come and go. There are various causes for a bowel obstruction. To learn more about bowel obstructions and available treatments, take a look below at the questions that have been answered by Experts.

What is a bowel obstruction and the best treatment for a cancer survivor with 1/3 of a stomach?

When scar tissue is present a small bowel obstruction may occur. The obstruction may be a partial blockage or a complete blockage. If the person is able to have bowel movements, it may be assumed that the person may have a partial bowel obstruction. However if nothing passed (no bowel movement) there may be a complete bowel obstruction. Typical treatment for a bowel obstruction generally consists of IV fluids to ensure proper hydration and medication to ease symptoms. During this time, there is usually a waiting period to see if the bowel obstruction resolves on its own if the person has a partial bowel blockage. If there is a complete blockage, surgery may be required to avoid blood supply from reaching the affected intestine. If blood supply is blocked from the affected intestine necrosis (the tissue dies) may occur.

If standard treatment for a bowel obstruction doesn't improve the situation surgery may be required to resolve the issue (remove the obstruction). A drainage tube may be used in an attempt to clear the intestine of fluids and acids that may become trapped by the obstruction.

Laxatives and enemas are usually avoided since they do very little to clear the bowel obstruction. In fact, this may actually cause more damage to the bowel by stimulating secretions and contractions of the bowel. Basically the laxatives and enemas are too weak to provide any assistance in removing the bowel obstruction.

After having surgery for a prior bowel obstruction what would cause green BM and vomit with stomach pain?

The above mentioned symptoms may be a sign of a sub acute small bowel obstruction caused by bowel adhesions. Adhesions occur following an abdominal surgery and generally spread out past the incision site. The adhesions are basically strands of scar tissue.

Green vomit is usually a sign that the obstruction is at or near the bile duct attached to the small bowel. This duct transports bile from the gall bladder to the second part of the small intestine (duodenum).

There is an ongoing controversy regarding whether to perform surgery in order to repair the adhesions. Many are against surgery simply because surgery only encourages scar tissue. Furthermore, there are other more natural ways of resolving bowel adhesions. However, there is no information gathered from studies that show such treatments would guarantee repair in all situations.

How long after a small bowel obstruction does someone have to stay on a low residue diet?

Generally a person should try to remain on a low residue diet in order to allow the bowel time to fully heal. While applying the low residual diet, one generally uses added fiber like Metamucil, Citrucel, or Konsyl. A stool softener is often encouraged to ease the elimination of the bowel. Milk of Magnesia is often used to keep the bowels on schedule. Hydration is very important following a surgery. The better hydrated one is, the less chance there is of constipation. Furthermore a person may want to avoid certain foods that are known to cause constipation. Products such as Imodium are generally avoided as well.

Can a partial bowel obstruction cause stomach gurgling and diarrhea?

Usually if a person is having bowel movements there is little chance of a bowel obstruction. When a person has diarrhea, one often experiences gurgling and other odd noises in the gut due to gas. Bloating may also be a common occurrence if there is trapped gas in the intestines. If a person is unable to see a doctor right away, the best approach to diarrhea may be to stay well hydrated. The person's doctor may be able to diagnose the cause of the diarrhea through testing.

Bowel obstructions are not only uncomfortable; they may be very harmful to one's health. Because surgery may be required to treat a bowel obstruction, many medical questions may arise. If a person has questions or concerns regarding a bowel obstruction, the person should ask an Expert for medical insight.
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