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Intestinal pseudo-obstruction

  • Alternative Names

    Primary intestinal pseudo-obstruction; Acute colonic ileus; Colonic pseudo-obstruction; Idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction; Ogilvie's syndrome; Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction

    • Colonoscopy may be used to remove air from the large intestine.
    • Fluids given through a vein (intravenous fluids) will replace fluids lost from vomiting or diarrhea.
    • Neostigmine may be used to treat intestinal pseudo-obstruction that is only in the large bowel (Ogilvie's syndrome)
    • Nasogastric suction -- a nasogastric (NG) tube is placed through the nose into the stomach to remove air from (decompress) the bowel.
    • Special diets usually do not work, although vitamin B12 and other vitamin supplements should be used for patients with vitamin deficiency.

    In severe cases, surgery may be needed.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Most cases of acute pseudo-obstruction get better in a few days with treatment. In chronic forms of the disease, symptoms can return and worsen for many years.

    • Diarrhea
    • Vitamin deficiencies
    • Weight loss

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you have persistent abdominal pain or other symptoms of this disorder.