I realize that I'm a week late in responding to your post, but I have had trouble keeping up.
For an answer to your question, please search the archives of this forum, using Helen Dynda and bowel obstruction as keywords.
I believe (although I'm not a Dr) that generally, perforation causes sepsis, which means you would either be in an emergency room or dead - perforation is usually caused by stabbings, gunshots etc. Complete obstrucion can have slightly varying symptoms depending on whether or not it's in the small bowel or large, but again, you are extremely ill with severe pain, vomiting etc.
Partial obstruction is far more common, and I think that a lot of us who participate in this forum have experienced partial obstruction. It's painful, your stools get ribbon-like or cease altogether, you may pass a lot of gas and then none at all, you may or may not vomit, your abdomen may swell dramatically etc. My experience with partial obstruction is to stop all food intake (or dramatically reduce it), and drink a lot of water and other fluids if I can keep them down. After a minimum of 24hrs I can usually feel I'm going to come out of it okay, and I can see an improvement within another day.
This is usually what they do in hospital for partial obstruction, although sometimes an NG tube is used.
I hope this helps,
At Fri, 5 Jul 2002, anonymous wrote: > >In 1989 I had my appendix and gall bladder removed. In 1995 I had a >tubal ligation and the gynecologist found adhesions. In 1997 I had >laproscopic surgery due to endometriosis and in 1999 ended up having a >hysterectomy due to chronic pain from endometriosis and adhesions. My >gynecologist was amazed at how bad my adhesions were. I am now having >constipation problems. I went to a general surgeon and he ordered a >colonoscopy, which was negative. I have altered my diet, >fiber/fruit/veggie intake, exercise, drinking plenty of fluids, etc. but >get no relief. I have been looking at the photos on this site. I am >wondering what the symptoms of bowel obstruction are, and how would one >know it is to the point of perforation or serious complications?