Paralytic ileus; Intestinal volvulus; Bowel obstruction; Ileus; Pseudo-obstruction - intestinal; Colonic ileus
Treatment involves placing a tube through the nose into the stomach or intestine to help relieve abdominal distention and vomiting.
Surgery may be needed to relieve the obstruction if the tube does not relieve the symptoms, or if there are signs of tissue death.
The outcome varies with the cause of the obstruction.
Complications may include or may lead to:
If the obstruction blocks the blood supply to the intestine, the tissue may die, causing infection and gangrene. Risk factors for tissue death include intestinal cancer, Crohn's disease, hernia, and previous abdominal surgery.
In the newborn, paralytic ileus that is associated with destruction of the bowel wall (necrotizing enterocolitis) is life-threatening and may lead to blood and lung infections.
Call your health care provider if persistent abdominal distention develops and you are unable to pass stool or gas, or if other symptoms of intestinal obstruction develop.
Evers BM. Small intestine. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2008:chap 48.
Fry RD, Mahmoud N, Maron DJ, Ross HM, Rombeau J. Colon and rectum. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2008:chap 50.
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