Large bowel obstruction

Case contributed by Dr Ian Bickle

Presentation

Distended abdomen. Absolute constipation for 24 hours. Obstruction?

Patient Data

Age: 70 years
Gender: Male
X-ray

The large bowel is gas filled and distended down to the level of the distal descending colon-sigmoid.

Small bowel collapsed.

No free gas.

Case Discussion

The appearances are those of a distal large bowel obstruction.

CT is typically the next line of investigation to confirm obstruction and identify the cause.

A distal large bowel obstruction due to tumor was confirmed at laparotomy.

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