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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Why the stomach may not function after intestine surgery

 jrlulloff - Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:17 pm

My mother of 59 yrs just had small intestine surgery on last Monday. It had twisted and the surgeon removed 6-8 inches. All was going well until four days after surgery. She has now been admitted to the ICU and is on a ventolator. However it is a week today since her surgery and the doctors still are not hearing any sounds from her stomach. They are doing another CT today to verify the problem. Unfortunately the hospital staff does not have good bed side manor and doesn't seem to inform us family memebers very well. I was hoping you or someone could provide me with possible reasons as to why the stomach may not function after surgery on the small intestines. She remains to have an NG. Three days ago the fluid appeared to be very very clear and not much was being emptied out. But unfortunately the fluids have returned to that very dark green color again and the amount being collected has increased.
I would appreciate any information.
Thank you,
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:19 pm

User avatar Hello,

A normal physiological inhibition of bowel movements after abdominal surgery occurs and is named physiological ileus. This type is known to resolves in 5 day.

Patients are kept under intravenous hydration. If vomiting occurs a nasogastric tube is used for symptomatic relief.

In patients with protracted ileus, exclusion of mechanical obstruction is essential. Evaluation of possible underlying infection or electrolyte imbalance (hypokalemia, hyponatremia, and hypomagnesemia) should be done and corrected.

Discontinue of pain medications that may produce or worsen the ileus like opiates is important.

A plain abdominal X-Ray is the initial test of choice and examination with contrast may be needed if mechanical obstruction is suspected.

Treatment is based on the underlying cause.
Hope you find this information useful.
Please keep us updated.
Best regards.

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