Bowel obstructions

Picture of obstruction in the small and large intestines

A mechanical bowel obstruction can develop in either the small intestine or the large intestine (also called the colon). The condition partially or completely prevents the contents of the intestine and blood from flowing normally through the bowels.

The picture on the left shows a blockage in the small intestine that might develop, for example, as a result of scar tissue formation (adhesions). The picture on the right shows a partial blockage in the colon caused by a tumor (cancer).

Last Updated: May 7, 2009

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.