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Ileus

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Ileus is a condition that develops when the muscles of your intestines stop contracting. This causes a blockage that prevents food and waste from passing through normally.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Medicines:

  • Laxatives may help your intestines contract again and soften your bowel movement to make it easier to pass.
  • NSAIDs may be given to treat pain. Opioids cannot be used to treat pain while you have an ileus.

Tests:

  • Abdominal x-rays check for infection and other problems in your intestines.
  • A CT scan takes pictures of your intestines. The pictures may show the location and cause of your ileus. You may be given a dye to help healthcare providers see your intestines better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
  • A barium enema is used to help your colon show up better on the x-ray. A tube is put into your anus, and a liquid called barium is put through the tube. Then x-rays are taken.
  • Blood tests may show the cause of your ileus, such as an infection or electrolyte imbalance.

Treatment:

  • An IV may be used to give you liquids and nutrition. You may not be able to eat or drink anything until your healthcare provider says it is okay.
  • A nasogastric tube may be put into your nose. The tube passes through your throat and is guided into your stomach. The tube will be attached to a suction device that removes air and fluid from your stomach.

RISKS:

Without treatment, your symptoms will continue or become worse. Your bowel may take longer to start working again.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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