Bowel Occlusion: Treatments

The treatment of intestinal obstruction should be implemented urgently and as part of hospitalization. It combines medical and surgical treatment.

> Medical treatment

It is possible in case of paralytic ileus or waiting for surgery. Hospitalization is necessary, most often in a specialized department (gastroenterology). The patient is fasted with an infusion for hydration and nutrition. In order to empty the stomach and leave the intestine at rest, a nasogastric tube is usually placed. A fine probe is passed through the nose into the stomach, and the contents of the stomach go up in the probe to the outside. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment with antibiotics is prescribed.

> Surgical treatment

The nature of the surgical procedure depends on the cause of the occlusion. Strangulation occlusions require urgent operation because there is a risk of intestinal necrosis. Occlusions by mechanical obstacles must be removed from the obstacle in question (a tumor for example). In all cases, digestive operations are important interventions. The postoperative course requires careful monitoring and careful care. The patient remains fasting until the intestines return to normal functioning. Food recovery is gradual.

Without treatment, bowel obstruction may progress to intestinal perforation and peritonitis (inflammation of the peritoneum, the membrane lining the abdomen).

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