# 045 Medical Management of Bowel Obstruction, 2nd ed


Medical College of Wisconsin (EPERC)


Background:  Malignant bowel obstruction is a common oncologic complication; most common in ovarian and colon cancer. Symptoms include abdominal pain, colicky and/or continuous, as well as nausea and vomiting. Treatment options include surgical correction, placement of a venting gastrostomy tube, stent placement across the obstructed site, or medical management (see Fast Fact #119 for a discussion of interventional options). The need to rely solely on medical management is common, especially when the patient’s functional status is poor and expected survival is short. In the past 15 years there has been significant advances in the medical management of this problem, so that virtually all patients can avoid dying with the traditional approach of intravenous fluids and nasogastric tubes (“drip and suck”). The cornerstone of treatment is drug therapy.


7/2001; 2nd Edition August, 2005.

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Charles von Gunten , MD PhD and J. Cameron Muir, MD

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