BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Intestinal obstruction. Coloured X-rays showing a healthy human intestine, and the same intestine which has become obstructed (occluded). At left is the healthy intestine, with the colon at top (red) joined to the small intestine seen at lower left (pink). In the X-ray at right, the join between the colon and small intestine appears black due to obstruction. Here, the patient has swallowed an X-ray opaque medium which enables the intestine to be seen on X-ray. Intestinal obstruction may be due to paralytic ileus (failure of intestinal muscles), injury, infection, constipation, or strangulated hernia. It sometimes occurs following surgery. The condition must be treated promptly.
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