What Is Paralytic Ileus

What Is Paralytic Ileus ? A temporary arrest of the regular movements of the intestines, resulting in obstruction to the smooth passage of their contents, is termed Ileus or paralytic ileus.

  • Vomiting, abdominal bloating and cramps, constipation and appetite loss are the usual symptoms.
  • Drugs affecting the movements of the intestines and shock to the system resulting from abdominal surgeries are the usual causes.
  • X-ray of the abdomen helps in diagnosis.
  • Food and drink are avoided till ileus resolves and a suction tube is threaded through the nose to reach the stomach to relieve gas.

The absence of normal contraction of the intestines results in stagnation of the intestinal contents, leading to blockage and constipation. The intestinal obstruction due to ileus does not usually cause rupture of the intestines.

Ileus is a common occurrence after a surgery involving the abdomen, appearing after a day or two following the surgery. Anticholinergic drugs and pain killers of the opioid group often precipitate this condition. Infections of the intestinal tract such as diverticulitis and appendicitis also may cause partial or complete temporary paralysis of the muscles of the intestinal wall. Hypothyroidism, electrolyte imbalances of blood, especially high calcium and low potassium levels, and kidney failure are some other causes of ileus.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Nausea and vomiting resulting from the obstruction to the smooth movements of the intestinal contents is a symptom of ileus. Abdominal cramps and bloating may be present, along with appetite loss and constipation.

When the abdomen is examined with a stethoscope, reduction of bowel sounds, or their complete absence, alerts the doctor to this condition. In an x-ray image of the abdomen, the intestine may be seen as having a series of bulges.

Paralytic Ileus Treatment

Until the normal functioning of the intestines is restored, the patient is not given any food or drink. Intravenous supplementation of nutrients and electrolytes are also given. The fluid and gas build up in the intestines is relieved by suction force applied through a tube inserted into the stomach via the nose. If ileus occurs in the large intestine, the gas is removed through a tube introduced through the anus

Paralytic Ileus Video And Images

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Yasser Elnahas

MD, PHD, Professor Of CardioVascular Surgery
Dr. Yasser Elnahas, Is an associate Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Elnahas was trained as a fellow At Texas Heart Institute And Mayo Clinic Foundation.Dr. Elnahas is dedicated to educating the general public about different disease conditions and simplifying the medical knowledge in an easy to understand terminology.

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