Bowel obstruction occurs when there is partial or complete blockage of the small or large intestine which prevents the passage of fluid and digested food. The most common causes of small bowel obstruction are adhesions (following injury or surgery), hernias and cancer.

The most common causes of large bowel obstruction are cancer, twisted bowel, diverticulitis, ischemic colitis, Crohn’s disease, inflammation due to radiation therapy and the presence of foreign bodies. Bowel obstruction surgery is performed to relieve an intestinal obstruction. During the surgery, any damaged sections of the bowel will be repaired or removed.

A complete obstruction is a surgical emergency and in most instances will be performed within 24 hours. This includes immediate access to operating theatres in the following medical centres: Mater Redland, Sunnybank Private, Mater Brisbane and The Wesley Hospital.

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