Intestinal
obstruction

What is an intestinal obstruction?

An intestinal obstruction is a blockage that prevents food from passing through. Intestinal obstructions may be caused due to hernia, colon cancer, Crohn’s disease. Intestinal obstructions can be fatal and proper treatment and diagnosis is necessary.

What are the symptoms of

intestinal obstruction?

Following are the symptoms of intestinal obstruction:

  • Pain in the abdomen region which keeps on getting more severe
  • Improper bowel movements
  • Constipation
  • Bluish and darkened appearance of the skin over the hernia
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blood in stools
  • Tiredness

What are the treatments available to treat

intestinal obstructions?

Gastrointestinal surgery is the best approach for treating intestinal obstructions.

What is gastrointestinal

surgery?

A gastrointestinal surgery is performed on the parts of the body involved in digestion. This may include stomach, esophagus, small and large intestine and rectum. It may be performed to remove cancerous growth, damaged parts or blocks of the above mentioned body parts.

The surgery is carried out in an open or a minimally invasive method.

In the open method under the influence of anesthesia, incisions are made in the abdomen region and slowly after making way through the other organs in the intestine is reached and the obstruction is removed.

In the minimally invasive laparoscopic approach, a general anesthesia will be administered to the patient and as a result he/she will be asleep during the surgery.

Once the patient is asleep the process begins by making incisions near the belly button and a small device is inserted which is called a port; it creates an opening that will be filled with gas (carbon dioxide) in the abdomen region.

Through these incisions a Laparoscope (a Laparoscope is a small instrument with a narrow tube which has light source and camera at the end of the tube) is inserted and using the Laparoscope’s video camera the surgeon is able to locate the affected body part and through the other incisions that are made the damaged/affected part is removed with the help of surgical equipment; after this the incisions are sealed using a surgical glue or staples.

Throughout the procedure there will be constant supply of nutrients through the IV.

How long does it take to

recover?

The recovery time for Laparoscopic surgeries is very less and one can return to normal life within days of surgery, but they should avoid heavy lifting. The soreness after the surgery lasts for 48 hours and it can extend up to weeks depending upon the individual.

In case of an open procedure it will take a little longer. 

If the patient is fine and the pain is less, then he is discharged immediately and follow up checkup is held every 7 to 10 days post discharge.

If the pain in the incisional area persists the doctor will advise bed rest for a week.

One might feel nauseated post-surgery, this might be due to anesthesia administered for the purpose of the surgery.

Post-surgery one might feel shoulder pain because of the gas that was pumped in during the surgery, which will go away within 48 hours.

How should one prepare for the

procedure?

If you have a prior medical condition and you are taking medicines prescribed by a doctor please make sure you inform the surgeon beforehand.

If you have a habit of smoking you will be advised to stop smoking a few weeks prior to the date of the operation as smoking may result in recurrence of hernia or may cause infections resulting in failure of the procedure. Quitting smoking enhances the chances of success.

When to call a doctor if complications occur

post-surgery?

If one feels nauseated, develops fever, bleeding occurs through the incisions, inability to urinate etc; under these circumstances it is better to get in touch with the doctor who performed the operation.

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