Intussusception is a serious disorder in which part of the intestine slides into an adjacent part of the intestine. This "telescoping" often blocks food or fluid from passing through. Intussusception also cuts off the blood supply to the part of the intestine that's affected. Intussusception can lead to a tear in the bowel (perforation), infection and death of bowel tissue. Intussusception is the most common cause of intestinal obstruction in children younger than 3.
Hospital data on intussusception for children discharged during 1 January 2001–30 June 2004 from the Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, India, were reviewed. Relevant information was extracted from medical records to classify cases according to the criteria of the Brighton Collaboration Intussusception Working Group. Complete review of medical records for clinical and demographic information was only performed for those cases fulfilling level 1 diagnostic certainty (definite intussusception) (Study ID 101245). During the surveillance period, 31 infants and children with definite intussusception were identified. The majority (61.2%) of the cases occurred in the first year of life. The male : female ratio was 3.4 : 1. Intussusception cases occurred round the year with no distinct seasonality. No intussusception-associated death was recorded.
An enema is the first step in treatment. In fact, an enema that is used to diagnose intussusception may also help to treat it. Pressure from the air or fluid may cause the intestine to correct itself. The result of an enema treatment might not last, so patients usually stay in the hospital overnight for observation. Surgery is another 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. Intussusception surgery may include removal of the affected section of intestine.