Bowel Obstruction Treatments
The treatment for a bowel obstruction will depend on what is causing it. For a total mechanical blockage, surgery will most likely be required. Most bowel obstructions will need some form of hospital intervention to relieve the problem. If you suspect that you have a bowel obstruction, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible to avoid the situation becoming life-threatening.
Nasogastric Tube (NG Tube)
In order to help you feel more comfortable and release any pressure, your doctor may insert a small tube through your nose and down into your stomach. The tube will remove any fluids or gas trapped in your stomach and relieve any pain and vomiting. You will not be able to have anything to eat or drink to avoid adding any pressure or bulk to the blockage.
If a paralytic ileus is suspected then your condition maybe monitored for a few days to see if it resolves on it’s own accord. Mose cases of ileus just require the bowel to be rested. You will be given fluids via a drip to keep you hydrated.
A barium or enema may be used to diagnose and treat an intussusception. During the procedure air or a liquid containing contrast is injected through the rectum into the bowel. The air or liquid will create pressure in the large bowel which will hopefully push out the folded piece of bowel. This is not always successful though and further surgery may be required.
For a total blockage or severe stricture, surgery will be required to rectify the problem. There are several surgical procedures that can be performed depending on the cause of the blockage. It is common for someone with a chronic illness such as Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis to require surgery in order to relieve blocked or narrowed intestines. Some of the surgical procedures may require you to have a stoma in the form of a colostomy or ileostomy on a temporary basis.
Large Bowel Resection
The blocked or diseased part of your colon or large bowel may be removed surgically if you have a total blockage. The surgery can be performed laproscopically (via keyhole) or may be done as open surgery in an emergency. If the two pieces are bowel left are healthy then the ends will be stitched together or you may be given an colostomy where the colon is routed through an opening cut into your abdomen. You will then need to wear an ostomy bag over the top to collect the waste.
Small Bowel Resection
A small bowel resection is when the diseased or blocked part of the small bowel is surgically removed. The surgery can be performed laproscopically (via keyhole) or may be done as open surgery in an emergency. If the two pieces are bowel left are healthy then the ends will be stitched together or you may be given an ileostomy where the small bowel is routed through an opening cut into your abdomen. You will then need to wear an ostomy bag over the top to collect the waste.
This operation may be performed on patients with Crohn’s disease at this mostly affects the small bowel. Crohn’s disease can cause narrowing or strictures which can block the bowel and cause extreme pain. A strictureplasty is when the narrowed section is cut and sewn horizontally to widen the intestine.
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