From: Tina Shelby (
Mon Feb 14 15:07:56 2000


I am sorry, I must have misunderstood your question. Obviously, the practice of medicine is not an exact science. We can speak in terms of what is common, but everyone is individual, so their response to a given set of circumstances can be different from what is considered "normal". In general, an obstuction can be a partial or complete. Vomiting usually occurs immediately after the obstuction occurs. The vomiting more frequently occurs in small bowel obstructions, and may not occur in large bowel obstructions until samll bowel distention occurs. Pain followe by explosive diarrhea can often be seen in asociation with a partial obstruction. It should also be noted that adhesions are the number one cause of small bowel obstruction. Abdominal/chest films will show distention of the bowel, and air/fluid levels. Complete obstructions are obviously more easily to see on x-ray than a partial bowel obstruction. Partial obstructions are not always seen. Again, these are the "usual" findings, but again, nothing is 100% accurate.


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