Chronic small bowel obstruction from adhesions

Posted by ginpene @ginpene05, Apr 6, 2017

This is my 5th SBO with hospitalizan in 18 months, due to adhesions. No surgery yet, but am considering Small Passage treatment. Last 3 times happened in the last 4 months. This is getting old. Any idess?

@bentley33

Hello, I’ve written on here about some of the other problems… Gastroparesis, Crohn’s disease, EOE, slow moving colon, bloating, bruising on my stomach, im sure there is more. My bloating has not gone down in over 6 months. My GI doctor knows that I have a massive amount of scar tissue that could be causing my blockages or obstructions. But no one will do surgery due to the high risk. Basically my inside are cemented together by all the scar tissue. I’ve been going to PT, and acupuncture , to try and get relief. It’s been close to month and not really gotten that far. Does anyone know anything about scar tissue or if the Mayo Clinic has any doctors that deal with it or any studies going on a Mayo Clinic? The pain that comes with all my other issues and the pain and damage my scar tissue is causing along with this bloating is really frustrating. I’ve been looking everywhere to find something or someone and have come up with nothing. Any suggestions???? Thank you

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Hello @bentley33

As I read about your symptoms I can't imagine who difficult it would be to deal with all of that. I see that you have already been involved in some of the Digestive Discussions here on Connect and the discussion about adhesions might be good to look through again. Here is the link, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/chronic-small-bowel-obstruction-from-adhesions/?orderby=DESC#chv4-comment-stream-header.

You mention that "no one will do surgery due to the high risk." Is the high risk because another surgery would cause more scar tissues or are there other issues as well?

Also, just wondering what you have tried in the past to deal with the bloating? Has self-massage of the abdomen (on a regular basis) been tried?

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@bentley33

Hello, I’ve written on here about some of the other problems… Gastroparesis, Crohn’s disease, EOE, slow moving colon, bloating, bruising on my stomach, im sure there is more. My bloating has not gone down in over 6 months. My GI doctor knows that I have a massive amount of scar tissue that could be causing my blockages or obstructions. But no one will do surgery due to the high risk. Basically my inside are cemented together by all the scar tissue. I’ve been going to PT, and acupuncture , to try and get relief. It’s been close to month and not really gotten that far. Does anyone know anything about scar tissue or if the Mayo Clinic has any doctors that deal with it or any studies going on a Mayo Clinic? The pain that comes with all my other issues and the pain and damage my scar tissue is causing along with this bloating is really frustrating. I’ve been looking everywhere to find something or someone and have come up with nothing. Any suggestions???? Thank you

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@bentley33 I am sorry to hear all you are going through. @hopeful33250 questions are good ones. I also wonder, what type of surgery did you have that caused such massive scarring?

I hope you are able to find a doctor who can help you with this, it must be extremely frustrating.
JK

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Hi, I am new to this group. Last year I was admitted twice for small bowel obstruction having to have NG tube twice. I had an UGI series with small bowel follow through. Barium didn't come through for over 24 hours. I was never given a reason for the blockage. A month after that I had a totally non functioning gall bladder requiring surgery. I continue to have issues with bloating, pain, terrible gas and flatus. I have small pellet like stools and an hour later a normal bowel movement. I feel very over full many times after a meal and am unable to eat the next meal. I find there is nothing that has helped me. I have done the high fiber diet, no help. I have done the low fiber diet no help. Liquids do seem to help sometimes. I assume my problems stem from past abdominal surgeries, appendix, total abdominal hysterectomy and now the gall bladder. I have had no help from my physicians and the symptoms are beginning to impact my quality of life. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Hello, I’ve written on here about some of the other problems… Gastroparesis, Crohn’s disease, EOE, slow moving colon, bloating, bruising on my stomach, im sure there is more. My bloating has not gone down in over 6 months. My GI doctor knows that I have a massive amount of scar tissue that could be causing my blockages or obstructions. But no one will do surgery due to the high risk. Basically my inside are cemented together by all the scar tissue. I’ve been going to PT, and acupuncture , to try and get relief. It’s been close to month and not really gotten that far. Does anyone know anything about scar tissue or if the Mayo Clinic has any doctors that deal with it or any studies going on a Mayo Clinic? The pain that comes with all my other issues and the pain and damage my scar tissue is causing along with this bloating is really frustrating. I’ve been looking everywhere to find something or someone and have come up with nothing. Any suggestions???? Thank you

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@judibutter

Hi, I am new to this group. Last year I was admitted twice for small bowel obstruction having to have NG tube twice. I had an UGI series with small bowel follow through. Barium didn't come through for over 24 hours. I was never given a reason for the blockage. A month after that I had a totally non functioning gall bladder requiring surgery. I continue to have issues with bloating, pain, terrible gas and flatus. I have small pellet like stools and an hour later a normal bowel movement. I feel very over full many times after a meal and am unable to eat the next meal. I find there is nothing that has helped me. I have done the high fiber diet, no help. I have done the low fiber diet no help. Liquids do seem to help sometimes. I assume my problems stem from past abdominal surgeries, appendix, total abdominal hysterectomy and now the gall bladder. I have had no help from my physicians and the symptoms are beginning to impact my quality of life. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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New here & can't find where to start a new message.
Had a bowel obstruction in April, resulting in very traumatic NG insertion in ER. This resulted in an A fib attack which led into a heart attack.
I need some help with diet, ect. I will never submit to the NG tube as it nearly resulted in my death. Am getting no help from gastro doctor as I am unable to see him for another month. (Shortage of specialty doctors in my area!)
Please give any information that might help.
Many thanks

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@mermaid7272

New here & can't find where to start a new message.
Had a bowel obstruction in April, resulting in very traumatic NG insertion in ER. This resulted in an A fib attack which led into a heart attack.
I need some help with diet, ect. I will never submit to the NG tube as it nearly resulted in my death. Am getting no help from gastro doctor as I am unable to see him for another month. (Shortage of specialty doctors in my area!)
Please give any information that might help.
Many thanks

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Hi, and welcome, and I'm SO sorry about your experience! Was that your first bowel obstruction, and do you know what caused it? I assume that it was partial if they didn't operate on it, but given what happened with your heart I'm sure the situation was very complicated (and scary!).
I've had 30+ partial obstructions in my life. This is NOT meant as medical advice, because I know the tube can be very helpful and perhaps life-saving sometimes, but I've always refused them because I've heard how awful the insertion is, and so far I've been lucky because my obstructions usually resolve on their own in about 12-24 hours (but they are horribly painful!).
I now mostly live on very healthy smoothies, soups, juices, and easy-to-digest foods–just in case. I know that if/when I have an obstruction, that will make the whole episode much easier to deal with.
Talk to your Gastro doctor, but don't expect him to have any real solutions. Generally they will just tell you to get to the ER (and they should) if you start getting another one, but no one seems to know how to prevent them.
Read through the posts on this thread about diet strategies, etc., that we've all tried.
I wish you all the best!

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What is small passage treatment? I have had lots of cramps and pains, change of BMs, diarrhea and now haven’t had a BM in six days. I have lots of adhesions from multiple abdominal surgeries. Will drink prune juice tomorrow. If still no luck will as Gastro to order ultrasound to see if I have an obstruction or blockage. I have never had constipation for this long. There isn’t even an urge
To go. I am urinating and able to pass gas. I was having sweats and chills when having BMs but not even having those now that bowels not working. Anyone else experience this pattern?

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@nancybev

Hi, and welcome, and I'm SO sorry about your experience! Was that your first bowel obstruction, and do you know what caused it? I assume that it was partial if they didn't operate on it, but given what happened with your heart I'm sure the situation was very complicated (and scary!).
I've had 30+ partial obstructions in my life. This is NOT meant as medical advice, because I know the tube can be very helpful and perhaps life-saving sometimes, but I've always refused them because I've heard how awful the insertion is, and so far I've been lucky because my obstructions usually resolve on their own in about 12-24 hours (but they are horribly painful!).
I now mostly live on very healthy smoothies, soups, juices, and easy-to-digest foods–just in case. I know that if/when I have an obstruction, that will make the whole episode much easier to deal with.
Talk to your Gastro doctor, but don't expect him to have any real solutions. Generally they will just tell you to get to the ER (and they should) if you start getting another one, but no one seems to know how to prevent them.
Read through the posts on this thread about diet strategies, etc., that we've all tried.
I wish you all the best!

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Thanks for your support, Nancybev.
The obstruction was caused by adhesions, due to many surgeries in the past. The heart & a fib attacks were due to the stress of the ng tube. (I have a deviated nasal septum to add to the complications, making the insertion doubly difficult)
This was my first obstruction. As I previously said, I could not go thru another insertion, I have had major cancer surgeries, and many medical procedures, but never, ever, anything like that ng tube insertion.
From what you & others have said, these unfortunately tend to come back again & again. I am trying to eat low fiber foods, and I was told to drink plenty of water every day. The smoothies sound good, any recipes? Do you think this type diet is forever?
Thanks again, and I am VERY happy to have found this message site.

Liked by nancybev

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So sorry to hear your tale … I, too, get partial obstructions because of adhesions. I have finally found a nutritionist who has helped me with my diet. She didn't have a lot of recipes, but did make a number of recommendations. And, she reminded me to chew chew chew carefully. I eat low fiber foods, and she suggested going as "low as I can go" in fiber and fibrous food… I also (of course) cut out anything that has given me trouble… so no meat (I guess I could eat burgers, but I've decided just to say no to meat), fibrous veg (like corn, lettuce, celery, kale… anything with fiber or fibers!)… I think this might be forever for me.. because I seem to get as many as 10 obstructions a year if I am not careful. I am lucky (?) because my husband and I decided to go vegan at the same time for different health reasons and we are finding our way together. Basically it sucks! But I find that it sucks less than the obstruction.. so I am very, very careful… and my husband (and my sister and friends who understand) watch me like hawks. You are among friends here! This is a safe place to rant and rave, get support, and feel cared for. Hang in there!

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I feel for you both, and can relate!
I think I've finally realized that the problem is more mechanical than anything else, and that it matters less WHAT I eat than what form it's in. I hardly eat during the day, and when I do eat I try to stick with things that could get through a small straw. So I've become the Smoothie Queen!
You can buy good pre-made smoothies, but they're expensive. So I have a bunch of ingredients on hand to run through the blender. I'm going to list them here if it helps; pretty much any combination tastes good and is healthy:
–milk (cow, soy, oat, almond, etc.–they all have different nutrients)

–protein powder–I prefer whey, because it makes things creamier

–Greek yogurt

–bananas!

–frozen berries of all kinds

–peanut butter

–kale and or spinach (you hardly taste them when they're blended with the other stuff)

–canned coconut cream (yummy!)

–rolled oats and flax meal

–firm tofu

–carrot, prune, and other juices

That's all I can think of for now. I'm a vegetarian (not vegan), so that helps. And, not to be gross (but I think the people here will understand!), I keep in mind how various things would taste coming back up again…so meat and seafood would be out anyway. 😱😱

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@nancybev

I feel for you both, and can relate!
I think I've finally realized that the problem is more mechanical than anything else, and that it matters less WHAT I eat than what form it's in. I hardly eat during the day, and when I do eat I try to stick with things that could get through a small straw. So I've become the Smoothie Queen!
You can buy good pre-made smoothies, but they're expensive. So I have a bunch of ingredients on hand to run through the blender. I'm going to list them here if it helps; pretty much any combination tastes good and is healthy:
–milk (cow, soy, oat, almond, etc.–they all have different nutrients)

–protein powder–I prefer whey, because it makes things creamier

–Greek yogurt

–bananas!

–frozen berries of all kinds

–peanut butter

–kale and or spinach (you hardly taste them when they're blended with the other stuff)

–canned coconut cream (yummy!)

–rolled oats and flax meal

–firm tofu

–carrot, prune, and other juices

That's all I can think of for now. I'm a vegetarian (not vegan), so that helps. And, not to be gross (but I think the people here will understand!), I keep in mind how various things would taste coming back up again…so meat and seafood would be out anyway. 😱😱

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Oh–and yeah–for me I think it WILL be forever. But it's SO worth it for the peace of mind of knowing that if/when I get another obstruction, it might not be nearly as bad. When I think I feel that one might be coming on, I also get up and walk briskly around and stretch backwards and forwards. I figure it just might help whatever is closing/sticking together to open back up again.
Fortunately, there's a lot more to life than food. And a glass of wine here and there should go down pretty easily. 🙂

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@bentley33

Hello, I’ve written on here about some of the other problems… Gastroparesis, Crohn’s disease, EOE, slow moving colon, bloating, bruising on my stomach, im sure there is more. My bloating has not gone down in over 6 months. My GI doctor knows that I have a massive amount of scar tissue that could be causing my blockages or obstructions. But no one will do surgery due to the high risk. Basically my inside are cemented together by all the scar tissue. I’ve been going to PT, and acupuncture , to try and get relief. It’s been close to month and not really gotten that far. Does anyone know anything about scar tissue or if the Mayo Clinic has any doctors that deal with it or any studies going on a Mayo Clinic? The pain that comes with all my other issues and the pain and damage my scar tissue is causing along with this bloating is really frustrating. I’ve been looking everywhere to find something or someone and have come up with nothing. Any suggestions???? Thank you

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http://www.laparoscopicsurgeons.com/our-surgeons/mark-reiner.html

I don't know where you live.
I am in NJ. I suffered for 5 years with small bowel obstruction. First, it took nearly 3 years and many doctors to even find out what was happening to me. I finally got a cat scan during an attack that showed small intestinal obstruction.
I don't have to explain the violent pain and long aftermath of the attacks. The fifth-year I was getting them every 3 weeks to a month.
Everyone was telling me surgery would make things worse. I had several hospital stays with NG tubes. I thought this was my life.
Then I found Dr. Reiner and he saved my life. He doesn't take insurance but you can put in the bill (if you have a PPO) and you'll get a decent amount back. To me, it was worth all of the money in the world for my sanity and well being.
I had 4 1/2 feet of intestine taken out on 7/31/17. It was radiation enteritis. I had over 30 abdominal radiation treatments in 2003 for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. The attacks started 10 years after my radiation!
I'm passing this on hoping that you find help too.

Wishing you peace, health, and freedom from this nightmare,
Lori

Liked by nancybev

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@loriel59

http://www.laparoscopicsurgeons.com/our-surgeons/mark-reiner.html

I don't know where you live.
I am in NJ. I suffered for 5 years with small bowel obstruction. First, it took nearly 3 years and many doctors to even find out what was happening to me. I finally got a cat scan during an attack that showed small intestinal obstruction.
I don't have to explain the violent pain and long aftermath of the attacks. The fifth-year I was getting them every 3 weeks to a month.
Everyone was telling me surgery would make things worse. I had several hospital stays with NG tubes. I thought this was my life.
Then I found Dr. Reiner and he saved my life. He doesn't take insurance but you can put in the bill (if you have a PPO) and you'll get a decent amount back. To me, it was worth all of the money in the world for my sanity and well being.
I had 4 1/2 feet of intestine taken out on 7/31/17. It was radiation enteritis. I had over 30 abdominal radiation treatments in 2003 for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. The attacks started 10 years after my radiation!
I'm passing this on hoping that you find help too.

Wishing you peace, health, and freedom from this nightmare,
Lori

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This was helpful.

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@nancybev

I feel for you both, and can relate!
I think I've finally realized that the problem is more mechanical than anything else, and that it matters less WHAT I eat than what form it's in. I hardly eat during the day, and when I do eat I try to stick with things that could get through a small straw. So I've become the Smoothie Queen!
You can buy good pre-made smoothies, but they're expensive. So I have a bunch of ingredients on hand to run through the blender. I'm going to list them here if it helps; pretty much any combination tastes good and is healthy:
–milk (cow, soy, oat, almond, etc.–they all have different nutrients)

–protein powder–I prefer whey, because it makes things creamier

–Greek yogurt

–bananas!

–frozen berries of all kinds

–peanut butter

–kale and or spinach (you hardly taste them when they're blended with the other stuff)

–canned coconut cream (yummy!)

–rolled oats and flax meal

–firm tofu

–carrot, prune, and other juices

That's all I can think of for now. I'm a vegetarian (not vegan), so that helps. And, not to be gross (but I think the people here will understand!), I keep in mind how various things would taste coming back up again…so meat and seafood would be out anyway. 😱😱

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So helpful. Thanks

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@dc10

In my case they were able to pinpoint on the CT scan where my obstructions are taking place. They say that there is a thickening in my small bowel but don’t know the cause. So, at this point, I feel comfortable having an amazing surgeon with tons of experience taking that part out. Then it will be analyzed and hopefully, I’ll know the cause.

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We are looking into CC for me to have a second opinion on surgery. 6 sbo's, 2 hernia's, more adhesions than I can count and looking for help – to have surgery to repair hernia's (without ending up with a bag again) and to lyse the adhesions. Can I get the name of the doc at the CC you are going to?

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