QS Study

Intussusception: It is the telescoping of a proximal segment of the bowel into the lumen of an adjoining distal segment. It is the most common cause of intestinal obstruction in children between ages 3 months and 3 years old. It occurs when one part of the intestine folds into another part. This causes a blockage in the intestine. The blockage prevents food and waste from properly moving through. The obstruction can cause swelling and inflammation that can lead to intestinal injury.

Symptoms

The primary symptoms of intussusception include:

  • acute abdominal pain,
  • abdominal swelling,
  • vomiting and nausea,
  • lethargy,
  • grunting due to pain,
  • passing stools mixed with blood and mucus, known as currant jelly stool.

Fig: Intussusception

Causes

The cause of intussusception is not known. However, the following are known causes:

  • a viral infection
  • intestinal surgery
  • polyps
  • tumors
  • inflammation

Causes of intussusception in older children and adults often occur due to tumors, inflammation, and other conditions. It may occur more frequently in people who have relatives who also had intussusception.

Treatment

Surgery is the best treatment option. Intussusception surgery involves either a large incision or a small incision and a camera. This is called laparoscopic surgery. The type of surgery depends on the location and severity of the obstruction. It is a life-threatening illness. If left untreated, it can cause serious damage to the intestines, since their blood supply is cut off.