Medical Conditions | Uncategorized

ileus

Cessation of intestinal function. There are two major forms, mechanical or obstruction ileus (see intestinal obstruction) and dynamic ileus, in which the intestine ceases to function through lack of peristalsis, the motive force in the intestine (paralytic ileus or intestinal paralysis). The latter condition can arise from peritonitis, or the nerves regulating intestinal function can be (temporarily) switched off by neurological disorders, kidney failure, a blood clot in the intestinal blood vessels or a gallstone or kidney stone attack. Extensive surgery can also cause intestinal paralysis; thus no solid food should be taken after an operation until wind is broken, a sign that intestinal function is restored. Symptoms of intestinal paralysis are affected by the underlying condition. Paralytic ileus itself can lead to vague abdominal pain, distended abdomen, no passage of faeces and possible vomiting. Abdominal examination by stethoscope reveals silence, or absence of the sounds of peristalsis. An X-ray often shows fluid surfaces, distended intestinal loops with gastric juices and air above them. If the underlying condition does not require surgery it is possible to wait for the condition to clear. Food, fluid and minerals must be supplied by infusion, and a tube used to draw off digestive juices from stomach and intestine. If intestinal obstruction (mechanical ileus) is suspected, surgery is necessary to remove the blockage.

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