The initial treatment for a volvulus includes a nasogastric (NG) tube, which is inserted into the nostril, down the throat and esophagus, and into the stomach. The tube is attached to a suction pump, which removes air and digested food. This relieves pressure that has built up behind the obstructed portion of the intestine.
In most cases, surgery is required to correct a volvulus. Surgery may be performed through a laparoscope or through a conventional incision in the abdomen. A laparoscope is a flexible scope that allows a surgeon to view the inside of the abdomen.
Additional treatment for volvulus may include:
- No food or fluids to eat
- Nasogastric suction to decompress the upper GI tract
- Intravenous fluid
- Medications for nausea and vomiting:
- May relive the intestinal obstruction caused by the volvulus
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- For short term use only
- Laparoscopic surgery for a volvulus:
- The volvulus is treated without removing a segment of the intestine.
- Open abdominal surgery for a volvulus:
- A segment of the intestine is removed.
Volvulus Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of volvulus.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Do I need to lose weight?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having a volvulus again?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat a volvulus:
Continue to Volvulus Warning Signs
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- Lal SK, Morgenstern R, Vinjirayer EP, Matin A. Sigmoid volvulus an update. Gastrointest Endosc Clin N Am. 2006 Jan;16(1):175-87. 
- Takada K, Hamada Y, Sato M, Fujii Y, Teraguchi M, Kaneko K, Kamiyama Y. Cecal volvulus in children with mental disability. Pediatr Surg Int. 2007 Oct;23(10):1011-4.