DAN Medical Frequently Asked Questions

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Small Bowel Obstruction

I've been told I have a small bowel obstruction. What is it, and can I dive?

Obstruction of the small bowel refers to the intestinal blockage due to adhesions (external bands), scarring, external compression, twisting or entrapment of the bowel within a hernia. Vomiting and abdominal pain are symptoms.

Almost all individuals with bowel obstruction will be hospitalized. Because of possible over-distension and rupture, those with such an obstruction should avoid diving until the underlying problem has been corrected.