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.
Intussusception is characterized by a sudden onset of abdominal pain, vomiting, rectal bleeding, and the presence of a palpable abdominal mass. The condition is diagnosed by ultrasonography, radiology or surgery, and is usually treated by using air or hydrostatic reduction enema under radiologic or ultrasound guidance. However, surgery may be required in some cases, and approximately 10% of patients with IS undergo an intestinal resection due to a vascular injury to the intestine. Intussusception primarily affects children, with the peak incidence reported at between 4 to 10 months of age, although adults cases are reported as well. The background incidence of IS varies from 0-17.8 cases per 100,000 children to 302 cases per 100,000 children across various regions, with a recently decreasing trend in IS incidence reported in the industrialized countries . Case-fatality rates also vary widely by region, and deaths from IS are more common in developing settings than in industrialized countries.
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.