How is small bowel obstruction diagnosed?
- Medical history: The doctor will ask the patient about any previous abdominal or pelvic surgeries or relevant procedures that have been done.
- Physical examination: The doctor will examine the abdominal area for signs of swelling, pain, masses, bulges or hernias, surgical scars, or tenderness.
- Blood tests: A complete blood count and electrolyte analysis will be done.
In cases where patients have fever, low blood pressure, or rapid heartbeat, other lab tests may be needed, including:
- Abdominal X-rays: Basic X-rays can sometimes show whether the small bowel is obstructed.
- Computed tomography (CT scan): A CT scan may be done to confirm a diagnosis and give more accurate information about the cause and the site of obstruction.