Postoperative ileus is an abnormal pattern of gastrointestinal motility that is common after both abdominal and nonabdominal surgeries. There are many causes of ileus, including postoperative pain and the use of narcotics for analgesia, electrolyte imbalances, and manipulation of the bowel during surgery. Despite its prevalence, there is still no reliable treatment to prevent ileus or shorten its course. This article discusses the causes of postoperative ileus and the treatment options currently available. The literature on early refeeding, gum chewing, and the use of tube feeds is reviewed. In addition, new and experimental drugs currently in development are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)