Post-operative ileus

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Post-operative ileus

  • This post operative patient was intolerant of food, but did not have clinical features of obstruction.
  • The X-ray features of post-operative ileus are often indistinguishable from those of small bowel obstruction.

Post-traumatic ileus

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Post-traumatic ileus

  • Occasionally an ileus (paralysis of the bowel) can occur following other insults to the body, for example infection, myocardial infarction or, as in this case, trauma.
  • This patient has a fractured lumbar spine (not clearly visible on this X-ray).
  • The small bowel and the colon are gas-filled but not frankly dilated. Gas is visible in the rectum which indicates there cannot be total obstruction.