Emergency surgery is needed to repair the volvulus. A surgical cut is made in the abdomen. The bowels are untwisted and the blood supply restored.
If a small segment of bowel is dead from a lack of blood flow (necrotic), it is removed. The ends of the bowel are sewn back together. Or, they are used to form a connection of the intestines to the outside, through which bowel contents can be removed (colostomy or ileostomy).
Diagnosing and treating volvulus quickly generally leads to a good outcome.
If the bowel is dead (necrotic), the outlook is poor. The situation may be life-threatening, depending on how much of the bowel is dead.
- Secondary peritonitis
- Short bowel syndrome (after removal of a large part of the small bowel)
Calling Your Health Care Provider
This is an emergency condition. The symptoms of childhood volvulus develop quickly and the child becomes severely ill. Get medical attention immediately.
Pictures & Images
An intestinal obstruction is a partial or complete blockage that results in the failure of the intestinal contents to pass through the bowel. A volvulus is a twisting of the bowel on itself. It is one cause of intestinal obstruction.
Review Date : 3/21/2008
Reviewed By : Stephen Grund, M.D. Ph.D., Chief of Hematology/Oncology and Director of the George Bray Cancer Center at New Britain General Hospital, New Britain, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.