Small Bowel Obstruction

Small bowel obstruction usually occurs as a result of some mechanical factor and should be differentiated from a paralytic ileus where the small bowel dilates due to a loss of peristalsis (contraction) secondary to sepsis or metabolic derangement. This may cause a buildup of fluid and gases in the portion above the blockage, which may cause abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting and subsequently interfere with the absorption of fluids, causing dehydration and acidosis.

The following are some of the most common causes of small bowel obstruction:

What are the related symptoms of small bowel obstruction?

You may experience a combination of some or all of the following symptoms:

How is small bowel obstruction treated?

Treatment depends on the suspected underlying cause of the obstruction. When bands are suspected and you are otherwise stable, a period of conservative management might be undertaken. For all other cases, Dr Cooper will recommend surgery in order to confirm the diagnosis, relieve the obstruction and restore intestinal continuity. Surgery can either be open (laparotomy) or minimally invasive (laparoscopy).