JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Bowel obstruction and hernia

Geoffrey E Hayden, Kevin L Sprouse
Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America 2011, 29 (2): 319-45, ix
21515182
Bowel obstruction and abdominal hernia are commonly observed in patients seeking emergency care for abdominal pain. This article discusses bowel obstruction, adynamic ileus, acute colonic pseudo-obstruction, and abdominal hernias, with particular emphasis on the management of patients in the emergency department (ED). Although the diagnostic approach to bowel obstruction often requires imaging, abdominal hernia may be identified in most circumstances by history and physical examination alone. Urgent surgical consultation is indicated when there is a concern for bowel ischemia, strangulation, or complete obstruction. This article reviews an ED-based approach to the patient presenting with symptoms of bowel obstruction or hernia.

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