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Ileus in older people

Although ileus has numerous causes, the post-operative state is the most common setting for the development of ileus and ileus is an expected consequence of abdominal surgery. Physiologic ileus spontaneously resolves within 2-3 days, after sigmoid motility returns to normal. However, ileus that persists for more than three days following surgery is termed postoperative adynamic ileus.

However, paralytic ileus can also result from certain drugs and from various injuries and illnesses, such as acute pancreatitis.

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 Ileus in older people

Ileus occurs from hypomotility of the gastrointestinal tract in the absence of mechanical bowel obstruction. Although the exact pathogenesis of ileus remains multifactorial and complex, the clinical picture appears to be transiently impaired propulsion of intestinal contents. Ileus frequently complicates major abdominal operations.

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TYPES: (1) dynamic ileus, (2) spastic ileus (rare: porphyria or lead poisoning), (3) ischaemic ileus.


Ileus also called paralytic ileus or pseudo-obstruction, is temporary absence of the normal contractile movements of your intestines. Ileus is a condition in which your bowel does not work correctly, but there is no structural problem causing it. Abdominal surgery and drugs that interfere with the intestine’s movements are a common cause of paralytic ileus. Paralytic ileus is one of the major causes of intestinal obstruction in infants and children.


Ileus refers to the intolerance of oral intake due to inhibition of the gastrointestinal propulsion without signs of mechanical obstruction. The diagnosis is often associated with surgery, medications, trauma, peritonitis, or severe illness. Mechanical obstruction has to be ruled out, and the diagnosis of ileus is dependent on radiographic evidence, usually on a CT scan or small bowel series.


As long as serious pathology (e.g. anastomotic leak) has been excluded, the management of post-operative ileus is conservative.

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