Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Intussusception Overview

What is an intussusception?
A person with intussusception has a segment of intestine that slides inside the segment next to it. The result is similar to an expandable telescope that has been shortened. Intussusception can cut off the blood supply to part of the intestine, resulting in death of the intestinal tissue. Intussusception is most common in children between the ages of 5 months and 2 years. With treatment, most cases of intussusception resolve without complications.

What are the symptoms of an intussusception?
Symptoms of intussusception include cramping abdominal pain that comes and goes, abdominal swelling, abdominal tenderness, vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in the stool. A child with intussusception may also have a fever, and the stool may look like red jelly.

How does the doctor treat an intussusception?
Treatment for intussusception may include a nasogastric tube, intravenous fluids, and a barium enema. In most cases, the barium enema relieves the intussusception. When it does not, laparoscopic abdominal surgery may be required to relieve the intussusception.

Continue to Intussusception Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Intussusception References
  1. Daneman A, Alton DJ, Lobo E, Gravett J, Kim P, Ein SH. Patterns of recurrence of intussusception in children: a 17-year review. Pediatr Radiol. 1998 Dec;28(12):913-9. [988062]
  2. Daneman A, Navarro O. Intussusception. Part 1: a review of diagnostic approaches. Pediatr Radiol. 2003 Feb;33(2):79-85. [12557062]
  3. Yalamarthi S, Smith RC. Adult intussusception: case reports and review of literature. Postgrad Med J. 2005 Mar;81(953):174-7. [15749793]
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