Intestinal obstruction: causes and types

Intestinal obstruction: causes and types

An  intestinal obstruction  can affect both the small and large intestine. The intestinal contents are no longer transported further – the intestinal contents accumulate at narrow points (mechanical ileus) or the intestinal movement comes to a standstill (paralytic ileus). An intestinal blockage is also known as an ileus, and a narrowing of the intestine as a stenosis or obstruction. A narrowing of the bowel is an incomplete blockage and an obstruction is a complete blockage of the normal passage of the contents of the intestine. The term ileus (from the Greek: twisting, twisting) is usually equated with intestinal obstruction. Ileus is one of the most dangerous abdominal diseases.

What is an intestinal obstruction?

An intestinal obstruction can affect both the small and large intestine. If there is an intestinal obstruction, the intestinal contents are no longer transported. The contents of the intestine accumulate at  narrow points (mechanical ileus)  or the intestinal movement comes to a  standstill (paralytic ileus) .

As a result, germs or even intestinal contents can migrate through the intestinal wall and lead to serious infections in the abdominal cavity. Peritonitis is also known as peritonitis and is responsible for the development of the acute abdomen (acute abdomen).

How does an intestinal obstruction manifest itself?

The abdomen appears bulging and is painful at the slightest pressure. The natural response is defensive tension (peritonism) of the abdomen. The defensive tension can initially be limited to a certain region. As the disease progresses, it spreads across the entire abdomen. The abdomen may even appear as hard as a board when palpated.

The patient’s general condition is steadily deteriorating. High  fever  around 39°C, cold sweats,  nausea , vomiting,  diarrhea  or stool retention, physical dehydration (exsiccosis) and collapse can then dominate the clinical picture. Due to an existing life-threatening situation, a rapid surgical procedure is necessary. Depending on the cause, a distinction is made between a mechanical and a paralyzing (paralytic) intestinal obstruction.


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