intestinal obstruction

Inhibition of intestinal function (a form of ileus) caused by mechanical blockage of the intestine or by intestinal strangulation. Causes of mechanical obstruction include tumours, large gallstones or a hard lump of faeces. Strangulation of the intestine can be caused by strands of tissue after abdominal surgery or in Meckel’s diverticulum, volvulus, invagination, or strangulated hernia. Symptoms vary from vomiting with gradually increasing frequency, dehydration and a swollen feeling associated with delayed production of faeces in the case of normal obstruction, to rapid onset of abdominal pain and possible peritonitis if the cause is volvulus. Intestinal perforation and death of a section of the intestine can even occur. In ileus, surgery to remove the blockage is often unavoidable.