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 to provide some nutrition. 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.
April 27, 2011
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology
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