Billings Clinic
Especially For:

Illness & Conditions - Definition

Ileus

Ileus

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:

  • Cramping abdominal (belly) pain.
  • Bloating.
  • Nausea and vomiting. Vomit may be green or dark.
  • Minimal or no passage of gas or stool.

This combination of symptoms requires immediate medical evaluation.

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 and bloating.

When ileus occurs after surgery, the intestines usually move normally after about 1 to 3 days.

Current as of: April 29, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Print This Page
Email to a Friend
Home | Contact | Site Map | Site Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Patient Privacy Policy | Medical Records | Fast Command
2800 10th Ave. North | P.O. Box 37000 | Billings, Montana 59107 | 406.238.2500
© Copyright 2014 Billings Clinic. All Rights Reserved.