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Ileus (adynamic or paralytic ileus) is a type of bowel
obstruction that occurs when the intestines stop moving normally even though
there is nothing blocking them. This prevents the digestion of food and the
movement of waste out of the body.
Ileus can also be called a
nonmechanical bowel obstruction.
Ileus most commonly occurs after
abdominal surgery, though it has many other possible causes. Symptoms of
adynamic ileus include:
This combination of symptoms requires immediate medical
Treatment for ileus begins with intravenous (IV)
fluids and electrolytes. This treatment helps to keep blood pressure at a
normal level and prevent dehydration. A tube placed in the nose and down
into the stomach removes digestive fluids, which helps relieve and prevent pain
When ileus occurs after surgery, the intestines
usually move normally after about 1 to 3 days.
Current as of:
November 20, 2015
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology
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