The treatment of intestinal obstruction depends, of course, upon the cause. If the obstacle consists in morbid growths within the abdominal cavity, little can be done to ameliorate the patient's condition. If it is simply a retroverted or displaced uterus the remedy is simple and easy of application when the nature of the difficulty is understood. Contractions situated near the anus can be relieved by dilatation. When out of reach, nothing can be done except to confine the patient to a fluid diet, which will have a tendency to produce thin and pulpy stools. Milk and lime-water, beef-tea, eggs beaten with milk, and similar food should compose the diet. For twisting, internal strangulation, and intussusception, the best mode of treatment is distension by means of air or cold water. This remedy is of no account unless used very thoroughly. It is generally necessary to pump into the intestine a very large quantity of air or water. If the patient is a child, it is generally best to place him in a dependent position, with the head downward, as by this means the weight of the water may be made to act most advantageously in relief of the obstruction. Several eminent German physicians depend almost wholly upon this mode of treatment in intussusception.

When symptoms of inflammation occur, as indicated by the pulse, rise of temperature and local pain, ice compresses should be applied to the abdomen continually. The danger of death in these cases is very largely increased by the use of laxatives or purgatives, as remedies of this kind will be sure to increase the difficulty. When the obstruction is produced by accumulations of fecal matter in the rectum or colon, it is generally necessary to remove the obstruction by inserting the finger, handle of a spoon or any convenient instrument. After an opening has been worked through the accumulated mass, a copious injection of warm soap-suds made from castile soap may be made by means of the syphon syringe, or any other convenient instrument. The injected fluid should be retained as long as possible, and then expelled. Repeated injections may be employed if necessary.