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How long does it take to recover from lower intestinal blockage?

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Posted on Mon, 1 Jun 2015
Question: I am hopefully resolving a lower intestinal blockage - spent three days in the hospital - had tube in nose to pump stomach - 12 days later things are improving - passing gas and moving bowels - still not 100 % - what is a reasonable timeline to feel completely normal?
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Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson (16 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
4-6 weeks

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX
I am sorry you had this experience. It can take quite a while to get back to normal after having an intestinal blockage. It takes a while for the motility in the bowel to recover and for your body to get rid of all the toxins that build up during the time of obstruction. It is good that you are feeling better 12 days out and that you are passing gas and having bowel movements. You should keep improving daily but it can take 4-6 weeks before you get back to normal. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and getting lots of fiber in your diet. Taking a multivitamin and some extra vitamin C may also help in your recovery.
I hope you are back to normal soon,
K. Robinson MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Kathy Robinson (47 hours later)
Should the distension go away completely?
And if so is that a major sign the blockage is relieved?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson (2 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
yes it should go away

Detailed Answer:
Hi, Yes the swelling should go away completely. You may be feeling better even before the swelling goes completely away. Have the swelling gone and feeling back to normal are the signs of complete recovery.
Wishing you a swift recovery,
K Robinson MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Kathy Robinson (33 minutes later)
When should the bowel movements be "normal".
Now they still require a bit of pushing and they are many unique pieces - like skinny pickle gherkins as opposed to one large piece?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson (5 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
4-6 weeks

Detailed Answer:
that part can take 4-6 weeks
Regards
K Robinson MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Kathy Robinson (45 hours later)
Hopefully my last question - i had what i would consider almost a "normal" bowel movement yesterday morning - felt pretty good all day - then at night felt like i had to move some bowels but only little pebbles came out - late at night (4:30AM) i did pass some gas - is the healing process going to be a bit up and down like this?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson (25 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
yes

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for the follow up.
Yes the healing can be up and down. It just take the system some time to get back to normal. As time passes your bowel movements should be getting more and more toward normal. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water, getting fiber in your diet and doing some walking every day
Regards,
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Kathy Robinson

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1989

Answered : 3535 Questions

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How long does it take to recover from lower intestinal blockage?

Brief Answer: 4-6 weeks Detailed Answer: Hello XXXXXXX I am sorry you had this experience. It can take quite a while to get back to normal after having an intestinal blockage. It takes a while for the motility in the bowel to recover and for your body to get rid of all the toxins that build up during the time of obstruction. It is good that you are feeling better 12 days out and that you are passing gas and having bowel movements. You should keep improving daily but it can take 4-6 weeks before you get back to normal. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and getting lots of fiber in your diet. Taking a multivitamin and some extra vitamin C may also help in your recovery. I hope you are back to normal soon, K. Robinson MD