Intestinal or bowel obstruction - discharge
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Intestinal or bowel obstruction - discharge

Alternate Names

Repair of volvulus - discharge; Reduction of intussusception - discharge; Release of adhesions - discharge; Hernia repair - discharge; Tumor resection - discharge

When You Were in the Hospital

You were in the hospital for treatment of an obstruction (blockage) in your bowel (intestine). While in the hospital, you received intravenous fluids. You also may have had a tube placed through your nose and into your stomach. You may have received antibiotics.

If you did not have surgery, your doctor and nurses slowly began to give you liquids, and then food.

If you needed surgery, you may have had part of your large or small intestine removed. Your surgeon may have been able to sew the healthy ends of your intestines back together. You may also have had ileostomy or a colostomy placed.

If a tumor or cancer caused the blockage in your intestine, the surgeon may have removed it. Or, it may have been bypassed by routing your intestine around it.

What to Expect at Home

If you had surgery, the outcome is usually good if the obstruction is treated before tissue damage or death occurs in the bowel. Some people may have more bowel obstruction in the future.

If you did not have surgery, your symptoms may be completely gone. But you may still have some discomfort, and your stomach may still feel bloated. There is a chance your intestine may become blocked again.

Self-care

Be sure to follow your doctor’s or nurse's advice about diet.

Eat small amounts of food 5 to 8 times a day, instead of 3 bigger meals.

  • Space out your small meals. Wait the same amount of time between each one.
  • Add new foods back in slowly, one or two at a time.
  • Takes sips of clear liquids throughout the day.

Some foods may cause gas, loose stools, or constipation when you are recovering. Avoid the foods that cause these problems.

If you become sick to your stomach or have diarrhea, try drinking only clear fluids for a while and hold off on solid foods.

Do not lift anything or continue intense exercise for at least 4 - 6 weeks, or until your doctor says it is okay.

If you have had an ileostomy or a colostomy, a nurse will tell you how to care for it.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have:

  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Diarrhea that does not go away
  • Pain that does not go away or is getting worse
  • A swollen or tender belly
  • Little or no gas or stools to pass
  • Fever or chills
  • Blood in your stool

References

Turnage RH, Heldmann M, Cole P. Intestinal obstruction and illeus. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Sleisenger MH, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2006:chap 116.


Review Date: 11/2/2010
Reviewed By: Shabir Bhimji MD, PhD, Specializing in General Surgery, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Midland, TX. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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