Ileus

What is it?
Normally, the muscular, small intestine, contracts to move air, fluid and food through, but in this condition, the small intestine does not work as it should and these things get stuck.

Why does it happen?
Many different things can cause this slowing or blockage, such as:

  • Surgery
  • Infections
  • Injury
  • Certain medicines
  • Decreased blood flow
  • Things that impact the muscles and nerves in the small intestine

What are the symptoms?

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating and swelling of the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas

How is it diagnosed?
Blood tests may be performed, in addition to pictures taken of your abdomen; these may include x-rays,
possibly after drinking a chalky material or a CT scan.

How is it treated?
You will be treated in the hospital. The first thing done will be to determine what is causing your ileus.

  • • You will not eat by mouth, instead an IV will be placed
  • • A tube may be put in your nose, down your throat, into your stomach to suck out the air and fluid
  • • Medicine may be given to help things move in your small intestine

If your ileus is due to surgery, no other treatment may be necessary; it usually improves within a few days. If medicines are the causes, certain medicines may be stopped. If the ileus is severe, surgery may be necessary, though this is rare.

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