Bowel obstruction, which is also called intestinalobstruction, is not a disease but a condition marked by difficult passingof the intestinal contents due to some kind of a blockage that may be present either in theintestine or outside of it. When the blockage is within the intestine, it isusually either a tumor or swelling that fills and obstructs the normal passingof the digestive contents. On the other side, if the adjacent organs or tissuesmake excessive pressure on the intestine, it may also cause the problematicpassing of the digestive contents through the intestine. The intestinal obstruction may be total or partial, and it may occur either in the small intestine or, on the other side, in the largeintestine.
Common causes of obstruction in the small intestine
Adhesions, hernia and tumors are some of the most usual reasons for the occurrence of obstruction of the small bowel.Adhesions represent a kind of scars and they refer to theregions of tough and fibrous connective tissues. Adhesions frequently appearoutside of the intestine after a surgery of pelvic organs, appendix and colon.Sometimes it happens that the part of the small bowelprotrudes through the weakened area on the abdominal muscle wall. This part ofthe small intestine is called hernia and it is possible that the bowel obstructionappears in hernia if it is tightly pinched.Cancerous tumors may also lead to the incidence of blockagein the small intestine. Inmost cases, the small intestine does not develop cancer within itself, but it getsaffected by metastatic cancer that comes from some adjacent organ.
Common causes of obstruction in the large intestine
The most common culprits for the appearance of obstructionof the large bowel are colorectal cancer, volvulus and diverticular disease.When the colorectal cancer is not diagnosed in earlystages, or when it is left untreated, it leads to the narrowing of the large bowel, whicheventually causes bowel the obstruction.Volvulus is the medical term for the condition featuredby the abnormal twisting of the part of the intestine around itself. It mainlyoccurs in elderly people who are suffering from constipation for a long time.Diverticulitis refers to the infection of diverticula, which are found in the wall of the intestine. The scar can slowly lead to the tightening and narrowing of the intestine, thus resulting in thebowel obstruction.