What is Intussusception?

Intussusception is an intestinal obstruction that occurs when one length of bowel “telescopes” into another.   This can be found in children of all ages, but most commonly occurs in children from 3 months to 3 years of age. 

The cause in young children is unclear, however an intussusception is an emergency and must be corrected immediately.  Most intussusceptions can be treated by the Radiologist with an air enema. This pushes, a bowel obstruction trapped in intussusception back to it’s normal position.  If this is unsuccessful, an operation is required to reduce the trapped bowel.  Intussusceptions in older children are frequently caused by polyps or abonormal growth tissue, small pouches in the intestine, and occasionally serious tumors. 

An bowel obstruction from intussusception in an older child almost always requires surgery as a result.

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