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Definition  

A volvulus occurs when part of the large intestine is twisted on itself and the mesentery. The mesentery is a supportive tissue that anchors the intestines to the back wall of the abdomen. The twisted intestine creates a bowel obstruction that cuts off the blood supply and affects bowel function.

A volvulus requires immediate medical attention.

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Causes  

It is not known what causes the twisting to happen. Rarely, this may lead to bowel obstruction.

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Risk Factors  

Factors that increase your child’s chance of volvulus include:

  • Congenital defects including:
    • Elongated or enlarged colon
    • Congenital intestinal malrotation
    • Sigmoid colon unattached to abdominal wall
    • Narrow mesenteric connection to the colon
  • Irregular bowel habits
  • Chronic constipation
  • High fiber diet
  • Previous volvulus
  • Hirschsprung disease
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Symptoms  

In some cases, your child may not have symptoms. In those that have them, symptoms may include: