What Does A Bowel Obstruction Feel Like?

on 9/15/09 7:58 am
This morning after going big potty I started having some pain in my middle belly area, just above the belly button. It has come and goes but for the most part is there all the time. It gets worst when I move around. I have eaten and did not get sick. I'm feeling a little tired but other wise OK.
I'm just getting over a head cold also. Not sure what else to tell. I have peed normal, but not passed much gas today.
on 9/15/09 8:30 am - Enfield, CT
RNY on 11/03/08 with
Having never had one but treated lots of patients who have had them you would likely have pain, nausea, a distended abdomen.  Did you strain to have your "big Potty"  if so it could be a pulled muscle at best or the makings of a hernia... keep close eye on it and take any abdominal pain seriously and get it checked if it worries you.  Not saying its not an obstruction either...good luck :)


on 9/15/09 8:37 am, edited 9/15/09 8:38 am - North Shore, MA
 They feel differently sometimes to different people.  Visceral pain tends to "refer", or be felt in other parts of the belly and/or back.  In my case, I had a complete obstruction right after surgery... I had severe crampy, diffuse abdominal pain, worse around my belly button.  I had SEVERE middle/lower back pain with it.   

Two weeks later, after the original bowel obstruction had been repaired, I had a partial obstruction.  It felt exactly the same as the complete.  The only difference is that it resolved with pain meds and forcing fluids.  Since that time, I've been completely fine.

Monitor your pain and your bowel habits and gas patterns closely.  If the pain gets worse, and you continue to notice that you're not passing gas, call your surgeon immediately and get to the ER.  There are several people on this board that have some horror stories to share... take them seriously.  If it IS an obstruction, you can die from it... I almost did.

Another thing to consider is a hernia.  If you strained hard enough, you might have given yourself a little one.


Edited for clarification of medical term.
 Forever cheerful in the face of rueful odds.... 

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on 9/15/09 11:01 am - Palmer, AK
First thing that came to mind when i read your post.....do you have your appendix?
What your describing is exactly how I felt, I thought gas pains, constipation, etc, but after hurting the entire day, it got worse and i went to the ER and it was my appendix. I have to have my appendix removed.
Hope you feel better.  Always best to error on the side of caution.  If you don't feel better, it doesn't hurt to have it checked out!  Good luck to ya & feel better soon!
on 9/15/09 11:01 am - Thomaston, ME
I had a high functioning partial obstruction where the y was attached to intestines. For me it was nausea, sometimes liquids would pass but most times everything came back up again. No pain.

Emily     SW 320, Pre Surg 271.3, Lowest 189.8 Current 212.9 GW -155-188
Continuing the weight loss journey 10 pound goals at a time.  June 2011