Master Types of Intestinal Obstruction with Picmonic for Nursing RN

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Types of Intestinal Obstruction

Typewriter at Intestines Obstructed
Picmonic
An intestinal obstruction occurs when the contents of the gastrointestinal tract cannot pass through the intestines. Obstructions can be either mechanical, involving an identifiable blockage, or non-mechanical, having neuromuscular or vascular origins.
8 KEY FACTS
MECHANICAL
Adhesions
Adhesive-tissue

Adhesions are areas of scar tissue that develop on the outside of the intestine after surgery, or injury to the bowel. Initially, adhesions may not be troublesome; however, movement of the intestine can stretch the scar tissue into a long band. This band of tissue may eventually encircle the intestine, and squeeze it shut causing an obstruction.

Hernia
Hermit-crab

When there is an area of weak muscle in the abdomen, a portion of the small intestine can slip through the muscle fibers causing a hernia. If the protruding hernia becomes pinched, it can cause intestinal obstruction.

Volvulus
Volvo stuck in loop of bowel

Intestinal obstruction caused by twisting of the bowel is called a volvulus. This type of obstruction can often be resolved without surgery. 

Intussusception
Intestine-telescope

This type of obstruction occurs when a segment of the intestine telescopes or folds into another portion of the intestine. Currant jelly-like stools are characteristic assessment findings, along with a palpable sausage-shaped mass in the RUQ. Intussusception is a medical emergency.

Tumor
Tumor-guy

Intestinal tumors can grow inside the intestine, creating a blockage, or they can develop outside the intestine, pinching it closed.

NON-MECHANICAL
Mesenteric Artery Occlusion
Mesenteric Archery-artery Occluded

Intestinal obstruction resulting from an arterial occlusion is rare. In most cases, an embolus disrupts blood flow to an area of the intestine, causing a non-mechanical blockage. 

Spinal Injury
Spine Injured

Injury to the spinal cord that disrupts the signals from the brain to the intestines can disrupt peristalsis, causing paralytic ileus.

Paralytic Ileus
Wheelchair Eel

This type of obstruction occurs when intestinal peristalsis is absent; assessment will reveal a lack of bowel sounds.  Paralytic ileus is common after surgery. 

Unlock all 8 facts & definitions with Picmonic Free!

JOIN FREE

Take the Types of Intestinal Obstruction Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

START QUIZ NOW

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Ace Your Nursing (RN) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 860,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Nursing (RN) student study app.

Picmonic for Nursing (RN) covers information that is relevant to your entire Nursing (RN) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer your NCLEX®-RN, Hesi, ATI, TEAS test, Kaplan exams, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Nursing (RN) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.