Bowel obstruction, which is also called intestinal obstruction, is not a disease but a condition marked by difficult passing of the intestinal contents due to some kind of a blockage that may be present either in the intestine or outside of it. When the blockage is within the intestine, it is usually either a tumor or swelling that fills and obstructs the normal passing of the digestive contents. On the other side, if the adjacent organs or tissues make excessive pressure on the intestine, it may also cause the problematic passing 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 the regions of tough and fibrous connective tissues. Adhesions frequently appear outside of the intestine after a surgery of pelvic organs, appendix and colon.Sometimes it happens that the part of the small bowel protrudes through the weakened area on the abdominal muscle wall. This part of the small intestine is called hernia and it is possible that the bowel obstruction appears in hernia if it is tightly pinched.Cancerous tumors may also lead to the incidence of blockage in the small intestine. In most cases, the small intestine does not develop cancer within itself, but it gets affected 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 obstruction of the large bowel are colorectal cancer, volvulus and diverticular disease.When the colorectal cancer is not diagnosed in early stages, or when it is left untreated, it leads to the narrowing of the large bowel, which eventually causes bowel the obstruction.Volvulus is the medical term for the condition featured by the abnormal twisting of the part of the intestine around itself. It mainly occurs 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 the bowel obstruction.