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    Intestinal or bowel obstruction - discharge

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

    You were in the hospital because you had a blockage inyour 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.

    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. Or, you may still have some discomfort, and your stomach may still feel bloated. There is a chance your intestine may become blocked again.


    Be sure to follow the diet advice given to you byyour doctor or nurse.

    Eat small amounts of food 5 to 8 times a day. Do not eat 3 largemeals.

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

    Some foods may cause gas, loose stools, or constipation as you recover. Avoid foods that cause these problems.

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

    Do not lift anything or do 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


    Turnage RH, Heldmann M., Cole P. Intestinal obstruction. and illeus. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Sleisenger MHIn: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 119.


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              Tests for Intestinal or bowel obstruction - discharge

                Review Date: 12/10/2012

                Reviewed By: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

                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. 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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