Small bowel obstruction

The symptoms depend on the level of the obstruction (Table 30.6). The more proximal the obstruction the more severe the pain.

Table 30.6 Small bowel obstruction: difference between a high and a low obstruction

High

Frequency of spasms Intensity of pain

3-5 minutes

6-10 minutes

Vomiting

Early, frequent Violent

Later

Less severe

Content:

Gastric juices then green Feculent (later)

Dehydration and degree of illness Marked

Less prominent Marked

Distension

Minimal

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