Types of Therapy

Drug therapy: Drugs are used to control the symptoms like vomiting, pain abdominal distension and discomfort. Sometimes a partial blockage my get relieved with drug therapy alone. These drugs reduce the secretions of the intestine (prevent abdominal distension and vomiting), reduce the swelling in the intestines (may partially relieve the blockage) and control the pain. A tube may be inserted through the nose initially to drain the intestinal contents and prevent vomiting. Fluids are given to maintain the hydration. In experienced hands this kind of therapy enables patients to get discharged from the hospital and lead a better quality of life at home.

Chemotherapy: At times certain chemotherapy drugs are also used to try and relieve the blockade. The goals of treatment of Intestinal blockage in order of priority are:

  • * First, to comfort the patient and provide relief of symptoms, and enable the person to lead a good quality of life.
  • * Second, to remove the blockage if possible
  • * Third, to give tumor directed therapy if possible


When the blockade is partial, drug treatment is started initially and my lead to relief of the obstruction. Surgery may be undertaken if the surgeon feels the blockage can be removed or a diversion is possible and also keeping in mind the disease status and general condition of the patient.