Intussusception is a medical condition that occurs when one part of the intestine slides into an adjacent part of the intestine, like the folding of a collapsible telescope. This can obstruct the flow of digestive material and cause severe pain. It is most common in infants and young children and requires prompt medical attention. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms of intussusception and the treatment options available for this condition.
Symptoms of Intussusception The symptoms of intussusception vary depending on the age of the patient, but common symptoms include:
A swollen belly
A lump in the abdomen
In infants and young children, the pain may come and go and can be relieved by crying, drawing up the legs, or passing gas. The affected child may also become lethargic and have a decreased appetite. In some cases, intussusception may also cause a shock-like state, which is a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment.
Diagnosis of Intussusception
The diagnosis of intussusception is made through a combination of physical examination, imaging tests, and laboratory tests. Physical examination may include a rectal examination to feel for a mass in the abdomen, as well as a test to check for abdominal tenderness.
Imaging tests such as ultrasound, X-ray, and CT scan can help to visualize the intestine and identify the location and extent of the intussusception. In some cases, a barium enema may be performed, which involves filling the intestine with a contrast solution that can be seen on X-rays.
Treatment of Intussusception
The treatment of intussusception depends on the severity of the condition and the age of the patient. In mild cases, the intussusception may resolve on its own with observation and supportive care. In more severe cases, however, surgery may be necessary to correct the intussusception and restore normal bowel function.
The most common surgical procedure for intussusception is called a reduction, which involves manually pushing the intussusception back into place through the anus. This procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia and may be done as an outpatient procedure or with a short hospital stay.
In some cases, a laparoscopic procedure may be performed, which involves making small incisions in the abdomen and using a camera and instruments to manually reduce the intussusception. This procedure is less invasive than traditional surgery and may result in a faster recovery.
If surgery is not possible or if the intussusception cannot be reduced, a colostomy may be performed. This procedure involves creating an opening in the abdomen to allow the feces to pass into a bag, which is then emptied as needed. A colostomy may be temporary or permanent, depending on the severity of the intussusception.
Conclusion Intussusception is a medical condition that occurs when one part of the intestine slides into an adjacent part of the intestine, causing a blockage and severe pain. The symptoms of intussusception vary depending on the age of the patient but commonly include abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody stools, and a swollen belly. The diagnosis of intussusception is made through a combination of physical examination, imaging tests, and laboratory tests. The treatment of intussusception depends on the severity of the condition and the age of the patient and may involve observation, surgery, or a colostomy. If you suspect that you or your child may have intussusception, it is important to seek prompt medical attention to ensure the best possible outcome.