Readers ask: How Is Bowel Obstruction Treated In The Elderly?

Small bowel obstruction (SBO) is a common reason for elderly patients to be admitted to hospital under the care of general surgery. Treatment of SBO may involve immediate surgery, a trial of nonoperative management followed by surgery, or nonoperative management leading to resolution of the obstruction.

How long can an elderly person live with a bowel obstruction?

Small bowel obstruction due to malignancy is more common in elderly patients and has a different approach compared to other causes. It has a bad prognosis in the majority of patients, irrespective of age. Survival in general is circa 5 months.

How do you fix a bowel obstruction without surgery?

Placing an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your arm so that fluids can be given. Putting a tube through your nose and into your stomach (nasogastric tube)to suck out air and fluid and relieve abdominal swelling. Placing a thin, flexible tube (catheter) into your bladder to drain urine and collect it for testing.

What causes bowel blockage in elderly?

Tumors, scar tissue (adhesions), or twisting or narrowing of the intestines can cause a bowel obstruction. These are called mechanical obstructions. In the small intestine, scar tissue is most often the cause. Other causes include hernias and Crohn’s disease, which can twist or narrow the intestine.

How long can you live with an obstructed bowel?

Without any fluids (either as sips, ice chips or intravenously) people with a complete bowel obstruction most often survive a week or two. Sometimes it’s only a few days, sometimes as long as three weeks. With fluids, survival time may be extended by a few weeks or even a month or two.

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How do you unblock a bowel obstruction?

Enemas of air or fluid can help clear blockages by raising the pressure inside your bowels. A mesh tube called a stent is a safe option for people who are too sick for surgery. Your doctor puts it in your intestine to force the bowel open. Some people may not need anything more than a stent.

Can a bowel obstruction resolve itself?

A complete intestinal blockage is a medical emergency and often requires surgery. Sometimes, a partial blockage may resolve on its own. Medications and various procedures may help. If you think you have a blockage, immediate medical attention is necessary.

How do doctors remove a bowel obstruction?

Sometimes, the surgery can be done using a laparoscope, which means smaller cuts are used. The surgeon locates the area of your intestine (bowel) that is blocked and unblocks it. Any damaged parts of your bowel will be repaired or removed. This procedure is called bowel resection.

What can you do at home for a bowel obstruction?

If your doctor has told you to wait at home for a blockage to clear on its own:

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions. These may include eating a liquid diet to avoid complete blockage.
  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed.
  • Put a heating pad set on low on your belly to relieve mild cramps and pain.

When should you go to the hospital for a bowel obstruction?

In some cases, intestinal obstruction can cause serious and debilitating acute abdominal pain. If you experience sudden, severe abdominal pain in addition to any of the above symptoms, seek emergency medical attention, immediately, by calling 911 or visiting an Emergency Room.

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What are the warning signs of a bowel obstruction?

Signs and symptoms of intestinal obstruction include:

  • Crampy abdominal pain that comes and goes.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Constipation.
  • Vomiting.
  • Inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas.
  • Swelling of the abdomen.

Do laxatives work if you have a blockage?

In general, most people are able to take laxatives. You should not take laxatives if you: Have a blockage in your gut. Have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, unless specifically advised by your doctor.

What are the signs of a blocked bowel?

What are the symptoms of an intestinal blockage?

  • Severe pain in your belly.
  • Severe cramping sensations in your belly.
  • Throwing up.
  • Feelings of fullness or swelling in your belly.
  • Loud sounds from your belly.
  • Feeling gassy, but being unable to pass gas.
  • Being unable to pass stool (constipation)

Can you pass stool with a bowel obstruction?

Someone with a full obstruction will find passing a stool or gas difficult, if not impossible. A partial obstruction can cause diarrhea. Obstructions cause a buildup of food, gastric acids, gas, and fluids. As these continue to build up, pressure grows.

What happens if you take MiraLAX with a bowel obstruction?

You should not use MiraLAX if you have a bowel obstruction or intestinal blockage. If you have any of these conditions, you could have dangerous or life-threatening side effects from MiraLAX. People with eating disorders (such as anorexia or bulimia) should not use MiraLAX without the advice of a doctor.

What does a partial bowel obstruction feel like?

Feelings of fullness or swelling in your belly. Loud sounds from your belly. Feeling gassy, but being unable to pass gas. Constipation (being unable to pass stool)

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