Gastric Outlet Obstruction—Adult

(Pyloric Obstruction)

How to Say It: Gas-trik Owt-let Ob-struk-shun


Gastric outlet obstruction (GOO) is a 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.


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

  • Swelling from peptic ulcer (common)
  • Swelling from 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 this problem are:


Problems may be:

  • 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


You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. 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 to view the interior of 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 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 this problem may be lowered by managing health problems that raise the risk, such as peptic ulcer disease.


American Gastroenterological Association

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians


Canadian Association of Gastroenterology

Health Canada


Gastric outlet obstruction. website. Available at: Accessed October 23, 2020.

Peptic ulcer disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed October 23, 2020.

Peptic ulcer disease. Merck Manual for Professionals. Available at: Accessed October 23, 2020.

Stomach ulcer complications. NHS Choices website. Available at: Accessed October 23, 2020.

Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD  Last Updated: 10/23/2020