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Bowel complications in abdominal wall

Severe bowel complications

A range of abdominal conditions can cause bowel complications. HCA UK explains when surgical treatment may be necessary.

About

There is a range of abdominal conditions that can cause bowel complications, including hernias, abdominal adhesions and peritonitis. Sometimes, non-surgical options can be enough to treat these conditions. However, if symptoms become more severe, your consultant may recommend surgical treatment.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of bowel complications in abdominal wall icon plus

    An abdominal hernia is a bulge that occurs when part of your abdomen pushes through a weakness in the abdominal wall. In rare cases, parts of the bowel can get caught in the hernia, causing a blockage known as strangulation or incarceration.

    Abdominal adhesions often occur after an infection or abdominal surgery when tissue and organs stick together. If the scar tissue causes your bowel to stick together it can become blocked, called a bowel obstruction.

    Peritonitis is when the inner lining of the tummy becomes infected. This can become serious if the infection causes damage to the stomach lining or if it enters your bloodstream.
  • ​Diagnosis icon plus

    If you have any of these conditions and you experience severe tummy pain or vomiting, it’s important to see a specialist or go to the accident and emergency (A&E) department of your nearest hospital immediately.

    If you have a complete bowel obstruction or a strangulated bowel (as a result of abdominal adhesions), a strangulated hernia or if peritonitis (inflammation due to infection) has entered your bloodstream, these are classed as medical emergencies and a consultant will assess your needs to determine what surgery is needed.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    For a strangulated hernia, your consultant releases the trapped bowel and returns it to the abdominal cavity. The operation is performed by open or laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery. It’s important that this is done before the tissue is permanently damaged.

    If you have complications as a result of abdominal adhesions, an operation to disconnect them (called adhesiolysis), is performed with keyhole surgery, where a few small cuts are made on your tummy.

    With peritonitis, your treatment will depend on what has caused the condition, the extent of the damage caused by the infection, and whether the infection has entered the bloodstream.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • facility-pgh-hero-579x579

    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 0207 908 8001
    Enquiries 020 3130 6833

  • The Wellington Hospital

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments. 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

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    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London

    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 3131 7962

  • The Lister Hospital Facility

    The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7811 4000
    Enquiries 020 3131 4978

  • The Portland Hospital

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

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    Chiswick Medical Centre

    Bond House

    347-353 Chiswick High Road

    London  W4 4HS

    Call 0203 131 6248

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    HCA UK at The Shard

    The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street

    London

    SE1 9BS

    Call 020 3131 6888

  • Docklands facility

    HCA UK at Docklands

    2 Upper Bank Street, Canary Wharf

    London

    E14 5EE

    Call 020 7516 1700

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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