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Gastric Outlet Obstruction—Adult

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Gastric Outlet Obstruction—Adult

(Pyloric Obstruction, GOO)


Gastric outlet obstruction (GOO) is blockage of the path from the stomach to the small intestines. It may fully or partially block the path of food. It can stop food from being digested. Treatment can help.


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The blockage is caused by problems with nearby tissue such as:

  • Swelling from a peptic ulcer (common)
  • Swelling from the pancreas
  • Abnormal growth of tissue, such as:
    • Scar tissue due to a peptic ulcer
    • A cancer growth

Risk Factors

Things that may raise the risk of GOO are:


Symptoms of gastric obstruction are:

  • Regular, frequent feeling of bloating or fullness
  • Feeling full after eating less food
  • Nausea and vomiting of undigested food, especially right after eating
  • Belly pain or swelling


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done.

Tests may be done to look for blockages. This can be done with:

  • X-rays of the abdomen using a contrast material
  • Endoscopy—a scope is used to view inside the stomach and intestines

The movement of food through the stomach may also be tested.


The goal of treatment is to open the blockage. How it is done depends on the cause. Options are:

  • Supportive care, such as IV fluids and medicine to ease swelling
  • Removing a blockage with a tube that is passed through the nose to the stomach
  • Procedures to remove scar tissue or tumors


The risk of GOO may be lowered by managing health problems that raise the risk, such as peptic ulcer disease.





  • Gastric outlet obstruction. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/gastric-outlet-obstruction.
  • Gastric outlet obstruction. Radiopaedia.org website. Available at: http://radiopaedia.org/articles/gastric-outlet-obstruction.
  • Papanikolaou IS, Siersema PD. Gastric outlet obstruction: current status and future directions. Gut Liver. 2022;16(5):667-675.
  • Peptic ulcer disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/peptic-ulcer-disease.
  • Peptic ulcer disease. Merck Manual for Professionals. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/gastritis-and-peptic-ulcer-disease/peptic-ulcer-disease.
  • Stomach ulcer complications. NHS Choices website. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stomach-ulcer/complications.


  • Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.