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Bowel Obstruction After Colostomy

written by: Cherrineb • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 8/24/2009

Bowel obstruction after colostomy is a common medical complication. This health article provides a basic overview of a colostomy and how a physician can create a patient treatment to reduce future bowel complications.

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    Symptoms of Bowel Obstruction

    A bowel obstruction is a medical condition which occurs when a bowel section creates a blockage. This condition may be a partial blockage or a total blockage. The blockage may result in a loss of blood supply to the bowels, causing a medical emergency for a patient.

    One common symptom of a bowel obstruction is slight abdominal bloating with possible tenderness. If the abdomen feels tender, a patient should contact a physician to verify the underlying reason for the abdominal bloating. A patient may not want to visit a health care professional, but a health provider needs to be aware to decide on proper treatment.

    Another symptom of a blocked obstruction may include pain, fever and abdominal swelling. These symptoms may range from mild to moderate and may last for several days.

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    Colostomy and Bowel Obstructions

    A patient may have a colostomy, which is a surgical opening in the abdominal wall, as a treatment for a variety of different medical conditions and side effects. There may be risks associated with this condition, including chronic bowel obstructions.

    If a patient experiences bowel obstructions after colostomy a health care provider should be contacted quickly to determine how the obstruction can be treated. Once a blockage has been verified based on a combination of symptoms and diagnostic tests, a physician may advise the patient based on the actual symptoms and the degree of the obstruction.

    The patient may require hospital treatment. The hospial staff can help keep the colostomy clear and review the patient's symptoms by checking the patient's overall health and monitoring the diet. This allows the patient to feel more comfortable with the colostomy, while reducing future episodes.

    A hospital staff member may check for the patient's temperature, respirations and blood pressure. Also, part of an effective treatment plan includes nutrition such as maintaining daily fluid intake based on the patient. For example, a patient with a 2200 calorie food plan would have fluid requirements which differ from those of a patient with a 1800 calorie plan.

    Some colostomies are performed yearly with complications ,including blocked obstructions. However, a patient can find the best relief with proper medical care from a qualified health professional experienced in treating colostomies.

    Sources: Colostomy Guide