Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Intussusception is a very serious type of bowel obstruction. It occurs in up to 4 in 1000 live births. The bowel (also called intestine) is shaped like a long tube. Intussusception occurs when a part of the bowel “telescopes” in on itself and is trapped by an adjacent portion of the small or large intestine. This causes swelling and obstruction, cutting off the blood supply to the intestine.
In many cases, there is no known cause for intussusception. However, intussusception may sometimes occur as a complication of some medical conditions, including:
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
Risk factors include:
- Age: it is the most common cause of obstruction in children 3 months to 6 years old, but the majority are younger than 24 months.
- Season: more common during respiratory and gastrointestinal virus seasons.
- Sex: male
- Medical conditions in the list above
The initial symptoms may include:
- Usually severe
- Colicky or cramping
- Usually comes on suddenly
- In children, this may be indicated by drawing knees to chest and crying.
- Vomiting (sometimes yellow or green tinged)
- Stools mixed with mucus and blood (often described as currant jelly)
Additional symptoms include: