The gastroenterologist is frequently involved in the care of patients with bowel obstruction and pseudo-obstruction. In the case of obstruction, the central problem is determining which patients should be managed surgically. In both SBO and LBO, evidence of vascular compromise to the gut mandates surgical intervention. Most patients with pseudo-obstruction respond to conservative therapy or neostigmine. Endoscopic decompression is indicated in recalcitrant cases, with surgery reserved as a last resort.
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