Postoperative ileus

Abdominal distension, lack of bowel sounds, absence of flatus or stool following major surgery.

Incidence ranges from 6-10% but can be as high as 20%.

Not limited to abdominal or pelvic surgery and may be seen with numerous other surgical procedures.

Associated with pain, gastrointestinal dysfunction, delayed food intake, and increased costs.

Most common reason for delayed hospital discharge after abdominal surgery.

In some degree expected in every instance after abdominal surgery.

Rarely life threatening.

Multifactorial pathogenesis including neurogenic, metabolic, and inflammatory responses.

A response to surgical trauma with decreased gastrointestinal motility.

Utilization of analgesics aggravates motility problem by stimulation of enteric opioid receptors.

Associated with delayed onset of normal bowel function, abdominal distension, pain, nausea, vomiting, and often requiring nasogastric intubation.

Complications include development in atelectasis, pneumonia, impaired nutrition and impaired wound healing.

Onset and duration not predictable.

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