Q:

What are the symptoms of colon blockage?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of colon blockage include nausea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal swelling, inability to pass gas or have a bowel movement, and abdominal cramping. Because a colon blockage can lead to severe complications, people with persistent symptoms should seek medical attention immediately, as stated by the Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Blockages in the colon only have a few potential causes, but all of them can lead to serious complications. Colon cancer, volvulus (twisting of the colon), impacted fecal matter, diverticulitis (infection or inflammation of pouches inside the colon) and stricture (narrowing of the colon resulting from scarring and inflammation) can all lead to blockages, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Becuase of the severity of the complications that can result from blockages in the colon, treatment usually takes place in the hospital. First, patients receive fluids and medicines intravenously, and the physician may also run a nasogastric tube through the nose and into the stomach, to take out gas and fluids and ease pressure and pain, reports WebMD. Patients initially receive no food or drink. The majority of blockages are partial and resolve independently. However, air or liquid enemas or stents can open the blockage if necessary. In cases of total blockage, surgery is necessary.

The doctor removes the affected part of the intestine, attaching the rest of the colon to an opening in the skin. Stool leaves the body and collects in a bag on the end of this opening. Generally, this is temporary until the blockage has passed and the doctor reattaches the healthy parts of the intestine, notes WebMD.

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