Overview

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.