Postoperative Ileusaccording to TCM

What is Postoperative Ileus?

Postoperative ileus, commonly referred to as bowel obstruction after surgery or post-surgical gut paralysis, is a condition marked by a temporary halt in the normal bowel movements following surgical operations. This condition can lead to discomfort, delayed recovery, and prolonged hospital stays. It is characterized by symptoms such as abdominal bloating, pain, and an inability to pass gas or stools, reflecting a significant interruption in the gastrointestinal motility.

How does TCM view Postoperative Ileus?

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), postoperative ileus is seen as a Stagnation syndrome where the flow of Qi (energy) and blood through the digestive tract is disrupted or blocked.

TCM suggests that surgery, by its very nature, can cause a shock to the body, leading to a disturbance in the balance of Yin and Yang and Body Fluids, and affecting the smooth flow of Qi and Blood. This disruption manifests physically as postoperative ileus. TCM emphasizes the importance of restoring balance and ensuring the free flow of Qi and Blood to treat this condition effectively.

Causes of Postoperative Ileus according to TCM

In TCM, postoperative ileus is often attributed to two primary patterns of disharmony: Qi Stagnation and Blood Stagnation, and or Cold invading the Intestines. Qi stagnation and Blood Stagnation occur when the body's vital energy, Qi, and blood are unable to circulate freely due to the trauma of surgery, leading to symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating.

On the other hand, Cold invading the Intestines is seen when the warmth that aids in digestion and movement within the intestines is diminished or blocked, often due to exposure to cold conditions or foods, resulting in slowed or halted bowel movements. These patterns highlight the importance of maintaining a balance of energies within the body for optimal post-surgical recovery.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Postoperative Ileus

To address postoperative ileus, TCM practitioners may recommend Formulas that moisten intestines and unblock bowels, focusing on herbs that can restore the smooth flow of Qi and promote bowel movements. One such formula is Ma Zi Ren Wan, which includes Hemp seeds (Huo Ma Ren) as a key ingredient.

This formula is particularly effective for patterns such as in the Large Intestine and Large Intestine Dryness, where it works to moisten the intestines and facilitate the passage of stools. By targeting the underlying patterns of disharmony, TCM offers a holistic approach to alleviating postoperative ileus and supporting the body's natural healing processes.

See more details below about Ma Zi Ren Wan, a herbal formula used to address postoperative ileus.

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that moisten intestines and unblock bowels

TCM Herbs for Postoperative Ileus

See more details below about Hemp Seeds (Huo Ma Ren), a herb used to address postoperative ileus.

  • By Herb Category
  • Laxative herbs that drain downward