Intestinal obstruction is a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through your small intestine or large intestine (colon). Causes of intestinal obstruction may include fibrous bands of tissue (adhesions) in the abdomen that form after surgery, an inflamed intestine (Crohn's disease), infected pouches in your intestine (diverticulitis), hernias and colon cancer.
Without treatment, the blocked parts of the intestine can die, leading to serious problems. However, with prompt medical care, intestinal obstruction often can be successfully treated.
Aug. 19, 2017
- Feldman M, et al. Intestinal obstruction. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 10, 2015.
- Glancy DG. Intestinal obstruction. Surgery. 2014;34:204.
- Kitagawa S, et al. Intussusception in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 10, 2015.
- Intestinal pseudo-obstruction. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/intestinal-pseudo-obstruction/Pages/facts.aspx. Accessed Sept. 17, 2015.
- Ileus. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/acute-abdomen-and-surgical-gastroenterology/ileus. Accessed Sept. 18, 2015.