Postoperative Ileus: Prevention and Treatment


Postoperative ileus (POI) is a transitory cessation of normal bowel activity. It is arguably the most frequent complication after digestive surgery; all the more surprising then to discover that the prevention and treatment of POI still pose many problems and not much progress has been made over the years in reducing its incidence and impact. Besides the clinical impact, POI has a tremendous socioeconomic impact. It prolongs hospital stay by as much as 5 days and increases costs by about 8000 USD per patient. Furthermore POI appears to be the most frequent reasons for prolonged hospital stay and readmission after initial hospital stay. The problem begins with the lack of a standard definition of POI. Vather et al. performed a systematic review of publications that included POI as primary endpoint. In a second step, an online survey informed opinion leaders of the variable definitions of POI identified in the review, in an attempt to come to standardized definitions. The most important finding from the review was that definitions were extremely variable and sometimes contradictory.


Postoperative ileus Enhanced recovery pathway for prevention of postoperative ileus Definition of postoperative ileus Gastrointestinal surgery and postoperative ileus Colorectal surgery and postoperative ileus 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Hübner
    • 1
  • Michael Scott
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bradley Champagne
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Visceral SurgeryUniversity Hospital LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative MedicineRoyal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, SurreySurreyUK
  3. 3.Surrey Periop-erative Anesthesia Critical Care Research Group (SPACeR)University of SurreyGuildfordUK
  4. 4.Division of Colorectal Surgery, Department of SurgeryUniversity Hospitals Case Medical CenterClevelandUSA

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