Pat Sajak, 73, is part of the family furniture in American households, having presented American television game show Wheel of Fortune for almost 40 years. His long-standing stint on the show broke the world record for longest career as a game show host for the same show, and Pat is poised to uphold that title as he is signed as a host of Wheel of Fortune until 2022. In light of his enduring appeal, it is understandable that fans were eager to receive an update about his current health status following an emergency operation last week.
Pat underwent an emergency procedure to correct a blocked intestine on Thursday, which resulted in a taping cancellation that day.
According to Mayo Clinic, intestinal obstruction is a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through your small intestine or large intestine (colon).
Causes of intestinal obstruction may include fibrous bands of tissue (adhesions) in the abdomen that form after surgery, an inflamed intestine (Crohn’s disease), infected pouches in your intestine (diverticulitis), hernias and colon cancer.
As the health body explains, without treatment, the blocked parts of the intestine can die, leading to serious problems.
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Fortunately, with prompt medical care, as in Pat’s case, intestinal obstruction often can be successfully treated.
Following on from his successful operation, the Wheel of Fortune shared an update with his fans on Twitter.
He said: “I’m so grateful for all the good wishes during my recent illness,” he tweeted Monday.
“Happy to say that the worst has passed, and I’ll be out of the hospital in a day of two, then back to work.
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What are the signs and symptoms of an intestinal obstruction?
Signs and symptoms of intestinal obstruction include:
- Crampy abdominal pain that comes and goes
- Loss of appetite
- Inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas
- Swelling of the abdomen
Because of the serious complications that can develop from intestinal obstruction, seek immediate medical care if you have severe abdominal pain or other symptoms of intestinal obstruction, warns Mayo Clinic.
When it is serious
Bowel or intestinal obstruction can signify a number of cancers such as ovarian, bowel or stomach cancer.
Intestinal obstruction: The condition can signify cancer is pressing on the bowel
As Cancer Research UK explains, it can happen as a result of the cancer pressing on the bowel.
Cancer can also grow into the nerve supply of the bowel and damages it – this can stop the muscles working.
Bowel obstruction is much more common with advanced cancer, noted the charity.
People who have had surgery or radiotherapy to the tummy (abdomen) are more at risk of developing a bowel obstruction.
If untreated, intestinal obstruction can cause serious, life-threatening complications, including tissue death, warns the health body.
Tissue death describes what happens when intestinal obstruction cuts off the blood supply to part of your intestine, as a lack of blood causes the intestinal wall to die, explains the health site.
“Tissue death can result in a tear (perforation) in the intestinal wall, which can lead to infection,” said health site.
It can also cause an infection called peritonitis, which is the medical term for infection in the abdominal cavity, it said: “It’s a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical and often surgical attention.”