Last reviewed: November 2017
Last updated: November  2017

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • failure to pass flatus or stool
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting
  • abdominal distention
  • abdominal tenderness
  • absolute constipation
  • peritonitis
  • constipation
  • palpable abdominal mass
  • palpable rectal mass

Other diagnostic factors

  • nausea
  • fever
  • tachycardia
  • severe lethargy
  • hypotension
  • diarrhea
  • groin swelling

Risk factors

  • previous abdominal surgery
  • malrotation
  • Crohn disease
  • hernia
  • appendicitis
  • intestinal malignancy
  • intussusception
  • volvulus
  • intestinal atresia
  • foreign body ingestion

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • abdominal x-rays
  • CBC
  • BUN
  • electrolyte panel
  • abdominal CT scan
Full details

Investigations to consider

  • upper gastrointestinal (GI) x-ray with small bowel follow-through (SBFT)
  • laparotomy
  • laparoscopy
  • abdominal ultrasound
  • abdominal MRI
Full details

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Authors VIEW ALL

Consultant Colorectal Surgeon

Department of Coloproctology

St. Mark's Hospital

London

UK

Disclosures

JTJ declares that he has no competing interests.

Honorary Clinical Lecturer

Department of Surgery and Cancer

Imperial College

London

UK

Disclosures

GM declares that he has no competing interests.

Dr John T. Jenkins and Dr George Malietzis would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Frances J. McNicol and Dr David J. Hackam, previous contributors to this monograph. FJM and DJH declare that they have no competing interests.

Peer reviewers VIEW ALL

Chief Academic Officer

Emeritus Chief of Staff (1997-2007)

Chairman Department of Colorectal Surgery

Professor of Surgery Ohio State University

Affiliate Professor Department of Surgery

Division of General Surgery

University of South Florida College of Medicine

Cleveland Clinic Florida

FL

Disclosures

SDW declares that he has no competing interests.

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