Skip Navigation

Search Knowledgebase

Bowel Obstructions

Obstructions 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 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).

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology
Last Revised April 29, 2013

Last Revised: April 29, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated 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. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.