A bowel obstruction is a serious and painful health concern. In the U.S., this condition is the reason behind 15-percent of patients admitted to the hospital for abdominal pain. Unfortunately, severe complications of bowel obstructions cause around 3,000 fatalities each year.
Knowing what causes a bowel obstruction and when it’s time to seek medical treatment is crucial in preventing severe complications. Here’s what you need to know about the causes of a bowel obstruction.
What Is a Bowel Obstruction?
A bowel obstruction, also known as an intestinal obstruction, prevents food, liquid, and other contents in the intestines from passing normally through the digestive tract. Harvard Health explains how this problem can either be inside or outside the intestines.
The blockage can differ from patient to patient. Some might have an obstruction in the small intestine while others might have a blockage in the large intestine (colon). Blockages can also be partial. This is determined by how much content can still pass through the obstructed area.