Abdominal X-Ray For Obstruction

Submitted by Nick on October 16, 2012

An abdominal x-ray is used in ruling out major illnesses such as some obstruction in the large or smaller bowel. This test can be easily and quickly carried out in an emergency department. It is also useful in differential diagnosis. If, for example, the patient is suffering with abdominal pain on the right side, he/she most likely has appendicitis. To confirm this, an abdominal x-ray for obstruction in the intestines is done and if this is normal and your x-ray is clear, then the doctors will do some other tests to make an accurate diagnosis.

An abdominal x-ray for obstruction is usually taken when you lie in a supine position. It can also be taken when you are lateral, upright, decubitus, or prone. The coverage of an abdominal x-ray for obstruction usually extends right from the top of your liver to your symphysis pubis. The organs of the abdomen that are included in your x-ray include the spleen, liver, intestines, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, and stomach.

An abdominal x-ray for intestinal obstruction which is caused by complete or partial blockage of the bowel is usually recommended by your health care provider. Due to such an obstruction, intestinal content does not pass through and causes problems. An obstruction of the bowel could be due to various reasons such as mineral, chemical or electrolyte disturbances, some injury to the blood supply to your abdomen, intra-abdominal surgery complications and infections, diseases of the lung or kidney, or the use of narcotics.

An abdominal x-ray for bowel obstruction, both in the case of the small bowel and large bowel, can be beneficial. Small bowel obstruction can be caused by problems such as adhesion from an earlier surgery, Crohn’s disease, the presence of foreign bodies, and volvulus. Large bowel obstruction could be caused by issues such as inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, fecal impaction, colon atresia, neoplasms, benign strictures, and adhesion (medicine).

An abdominal x-ray for obstruction can be done in the case of symptoms such as pain in the abdomen, constipation, vomiting, and abdominal distention. In case of obstruction in the small bowel the pain is usually intermittent and feels like cramps. The pain tends to be located in the center and mid-abdomen. You may generally vomit before you get constipated. In case of obstruction in the large bowel, the pain is generally located in the lower abdomen and the spasms last longer. You might get constipated earlier and the vomiting is not as much. In both cases an abdominal x-ray for obstruction is recommended.

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