Gut Instincts: A Clinician's Handbook of Digestive and Liver Diseases

Eric Esrailian, MD, MPH

Chapter 28: Ileus And Bowel Obstruction (continued)

Lilah F. Morris, MD; O. Joe Hines, MD

Ileus and bowel obstruction exist along a spectrum of gut motility disorders and present with nausea, abdominal distention, and obstipation. Sometimes, they are difficult to distinguish radiographically. However, the etiology and, therefore, treatment strategy for each are divergent. Ileus represents delayed motility and intestinal distention in the absence of mechanical obstruction, often occurring secondary to an underlying inflammatory process. Its resolution is dictated by the outcome of the inciting event. Bowel obstruction, caused by an intraluminal or extrinsic process that…