Intussusception is a condition in which a portion of an individual’s intestine slides into another part of the intestine. It is an extremely severe condition, and needs to be treated by a medical professional immediately. When the section of intestine slides back, there is a risk of losing blood flow to the area, infection, and even death of the intestinal tissue.
Intussusception is typically seen in children below the age of three. However, it is possible for adults to have this condition as well but it is usually related to an underlying medical condition. Common symptoms of intussusception may include severe abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, and stool mixed with blood and mucus. Your doctor usually is able to diagnose the condition with the combination of feeling the abdominal area and the use of an ultrasound exam.
An intussusception can be treated in a number of ways. The most common treatment option is the use of an air or barium enema. An enema is an injection of liquid or air into the intestine. Enemas are typically used to treat the symptoms of constipation. The enema treatment is generally able to fix the condition. However, for more serious cases, surgical treatments are also available. There is also a risk that an intussusception may recur after the initial treatment.
The official cause for this condition is unknown, however intussusception can be linked with the presence of tumors or polyps in the intestine. Additionally, there is speculation that some viruses may cause the condition as well. If you believe you or your child, may have an intussusception, contact your doctor immediately to discuss the most current treatment options.