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.
During 1990-2004, 316 patients with intussusception [241 (76%) Jewish children and 75 (24%) Bedouin children] were recorded. None died. The mean annual rates for children <5 years (per 100,000) were 49.3 +/- 17.4 and 18.9 +/- 9.6 for Jewish and Bedouin children, respectively (P < 0.001), with a significant increase in intussusception rates during the study period in Bedouin (P = 0.022), but not in Jewish children (P = 0.38). Mean annual intussusception rates per 100,000 for children <12 months were 199.6 +/- 5.2 and 66.8 +/- 44.1 for Jews and Bedouin infants, respectively (P < 0.001). In Bedouin children, a significantly higher number of cases were observed from March to May, whereas no seasonality pattern was noted in Jewish children. Negative correlation between intussusception and gastroenteritis was found in Bedouin infants during the summer months, whereas no such correlation was found in Jewish infants.
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.