Intestinal obstruction

Intestinal obstruction (blocking of intestinal flow) can occur anywhere in the intestinal pathway between the stomach and rectum.  A CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis can identify the location.  Incarcerated hernias can cause the intestine to become stuck in the hernia and requires an urgent operation to relieve the obstruction prior to the intestines becoming strangulated and repairing the hernia.  The small intestine can become entrapped in adhesions from previous surgery and the treatment generally consists of nasogastric tube placement to drain the stomach, IV hydration, and frequently responds to conservative management as long as there is no indication of intestinal strangulation as evidenced by severe pain, localized tenderness and acidosis, for which emergency surgery is required. 


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