In clinical practice, intestinal autologous diseases, ailments and organ transplants can cause severe congestive damage to the intestinal tract. However, after the etiological factor is gotten rid of and blood flow is free without any hinderance, further damage to the intestinal wall often occurs, causing other related organ dysfunctions. This ultimately results in intestinal congestion reperfusion injury (ICRI). When the structure and function of the intestine are destroyed, bacteria, metabolites and endotoxins in the intestinal tract perfuse and enter the portal vein through the already compromised intestinal mucosa, to the other organs via the liver. Nevertheless, this gives rise to further aggravation of the injury, and reperfusion injury syndrome occurs. ICRI is a very common complication encountered by clinicians, and its harm is more severe and serious as compared with that caused by ischemia–reperfusion. Quite a few number of studies on ICRI have been reported to date. The exact mechanism of the injury is still idiopathic, and effective treatment strategies are still limited. Based on recent studies, this article is aimed at reviewing the destruction, damage mechanisms resulting from ICRI to the intestinal anatomical sites and distant organs. It is geared towards providing new ideas for the prevention and therapeutic approaches of ICRI.