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• Kreis ME, Kasparek MS, Becker HD, Jehle EC and Zittel TT (2003). [Postoperative ileus: part II (clinical therapy)]. Zentralbl Chir 128:320-8. Summary: To avoid or reduce postoperative ileus, the operative trauma should be minimized and epidural anesthesia for spinal inhibition of the sympathetic nervous system or i. v. lidocaine should be used, all of which probably act by reducing visceral afferent nerve fiber activity. Recent data suggest that perioperative fluid restriction might reduce postoperative ileus. Epidural anesthesia with local anesthetics and replacing opioids by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for postoperative pain treatment improve the recovery of gastrointestinal motility disturbances. Prior to the operation, the patient should be informed regarding postoperative motility disorders, its length and the presumed resumption of oral food intake, which has been shown to shorten hospital stay. Early postoperative food intake stimulates small and large bowel motility via interenteric reflex arches, avoids i. v. lines and renders discharge acceptable for the patient. Treatment of postoperative ileus includes osmotic laxatives and prokinetic drugs like erythromycine and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. By combining epidural anesthesia and the sparse use of i. v. opioids with early food intake and, if necessary, laxatives or prokinetics, postoperative ileus should be coped adequately. Nevertheless, the development of new specific prokinetic drugs with minimal or no side effects should remain a target for drug companies to further improve treatment of postoperative ileus. Klinik fur Allgemeine Chirurgie, Viszeral- und Transplantationschirurgie, Universitat Tubingen(A rztlicher Direktor: Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. H. D. Becker).