" Obstruction of the bowels" is a technical phrase which implies a mechanical obstacle to the onflow of the intestinal contents. Its causes are various and the obstruction may be complete or partial, acute or chronic. It may occur at any portion of the intestinal tract from the duodenum to the rectum. It may be due to conditions that are congenital or may be acquired. But whatever may be the character of the obstruction the one striking fact dominates all considerations relating to treatment—it is a mechanical obstacle. A simple reference to the schedule of causes, revealed by postmortems, establishes this fact and demonstrates as well the utter uselessness of medical measures.
It is impossible here to more than outline the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of obstruction of the bowels, acute and chronic. It is neessary to deal with these two groups separately.
In the classification of intestinal obstruction it is