How do you cope with a bowel obstruction?


Quick Answer

Because of the serious complications that bowel obstructions cause, swift treatment is the best way to cope with the situation. Symptoms of a blockage include ongoing pain in the section of the abdomen that contains the blockage, periodically worsening when the intestine twists, notes WebMD

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Full Answer

The treatments that doctors use to eliminate a bowel obstruction vary with the type and the cause. When the case is paralytic ileus, the doctor may slide a flexible tube through the nose into the stomach to drain fluid from the stomach while also correcting imbalances in electrolyte and fluid levels. When the blockage is partial, surgery generally does not take place, but the doctor keeps the patient in the hospital until it resolves, as stated by WebMD.

When the bowel obstruction is total, surgery is generally required, and the specific procedure depends on the location and reason for the blockage. Laparotomy is a procedure designed to search the abdomen for the cause of the blockage while the patient is under general anesthesia. Endoscopic stenting involves the insertion of a stent to keep the intestine open. This is a common blockage treatment for elderly patients as well as terminal cancer patients, as stated by WebMD.

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