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Online ISSN 1827-1596
SMART 2002 Milan, May 29-31, 2002
Holte K., Kehlet H.
From the Department of Surgical Gastroenterology Hvidovre University Hospital, Denmark
Postoperative ileus (PI) is a major contributor to postoperative morbidity and prolonged convalescence after major surgical procedures. The pathophysiology of PI is multifactorial, including activation of the stress response to surgery, with inhibitory sympathetic visceral reflexes and inflammatory mediators. We update evidence on the advances in the prevention and treatment on PI. As single interventions, continuous thoracic epidural analgesia with local anesthetics and minimally invasive surgery are the most efficient interventions in the reduction of PI. The effects of pharmacological agents have generally been disappointing with the exception of cisapride and the introduction of the new selective peripherally acting µ-opioid antagonists. Presently, introduction of a multi-modal rehabilitation programme (including continuous epidural analgesia with local anesthetics, early oral feeding and enforced mobilization) is the most effective technique to reduce PI in abdominal procedures.