Intussusception is a medical emergency. If you believe your child has intussusception you should see your health care professional immediately.
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.
Common symptoms may include sudden, loud crying or sudden and severe abdominal pain.
Other symptoms are:
Diagnosis is made through an abdominal X-ray and an ultrasound exam of the abdomen.
Experts do not know what causes intussusception. There is an association to other conditions including viral infections, abdominal and/or intestinal tumors and masses, appendicitis, celiac disease, Crohn's disease and parasites.
Intussusceptions in older children (>5 years of age) are frequently caused by polyps, diverticula and occasionally serious tumors.
Most intussusceptions can be treated by the radiologist with an air enema. This pushes the bowel trapped in intussusception back to its normal position. If air enema is unsuccessful in reducing intussusception, patient requires prompt surgery.
A bowel obstruction from intussusception in an older child almost always requires surgery.