A bowel obstruction is a blockage in the intestines that prevents gas, fluids, or solids from moving through the intestines normally. Many different problems can cause a bowel obstruction. Some examples are scar tissue from previous surgeries (adhesions), certain types of hernias, cancer, twisting of the intestines (volvulus), or diverticulitis.
Symptoms of a bowel obstruction include:
- Cramping abdominal (belly) pain. The pain may affect all or part of the belly area and may be severe.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- An inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas.
A suspected bowel obstruction needs to be evaluated by a doctor. It may require medical or surgical treatment.
Current as of: September 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Jerome B. Simon MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology & Kenneth Bark MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery