What is Intussusception?
What is Intussusception? Intussusception is one of intestinal obstruction, in which part of the intestine is folded and infiltrated into other parts of the intestine. This condition generally occurs on the part that connects the small intestine and colon.
The folding of the intestine will clog the food and fluid delivery process. Blood supply on the part will be inhibited, the affected bowel segments swell and pain. When it continues, resulting in the death of intestinal tissues and this condition has the potential to infect the abdominal cavity (peritonitis). When allowed, can occur tear (perforation). Therefore, this condition should be dealt with as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Intussusception
This situation is most common in infants and children aged 3 years and under. However, adults may also experience it.
The main symptom of intussusception is periodic abdominal pain. The pain of duration 1-5 minutes will come and go for every 5 to 30 minutes. Before the duration of the attack becomes longer with the frequency of more frequent occurrences.
Babies or children will generally be cranky or crying while curled up (pulling the knees to the chest) when experiencing intussuscular pain, making it easier to know. Another case with adult who because of this condition is very rare so that symptoms often overlap with other symptoms of the disease. Therefore, there are some other symptoms that you should be wary of:
- Lump on upper right abdomen.
- Feces mixed with blood and mucus.
Intussusception includes emergency medical conditions that must be addressed as soon as possible. Therefore, go to the hospital immediately if you or your child has symptoms of intussusception.
Causes of Intussusception
The cause behind intussusception in infants and children is not known with certainty. However, this condition is often experienced by children who have colds or inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
Meanwhile, intussusception in adults is generally caused by certain diseases or medical procedures. Examples include:
- Scarring of the intestine.
- Polyps or tumors.
- Operative action on the gastrointestinal tract.
- Swollen lymph nodes in the gut.
- Viral Infections
- Inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease.
Risk Factors of Intussusception
There are a number of factors that are thought to increase the risk of intussusception. The risk factors are:
- Age. Intussusception is more common in infants and children.
- Gender. Boys are four times more likely to experience intussusception than girls.
- Never experience intussusception. People who have had an intussusception have a risk of recurrence.
- Abnormalities of the intestine. Birth defects in the intestine form increase the risk of intussusception.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Intussusception
After asking for symptoms and medical history of the patient and checking the patient’s physical condition, the doctor will refer the patient to undergo further examination.
The examination usually consists of:
- Ultrasound, X-ray, and CT scan on the abdomen.
- Barium or air enema. The doctor will insert air or a solution of barium sulphate through the anus and then done an X-ray photo on the abdominal area.
If it is positive to be diagnosed with intussusception, treatment should be done immediately (preferably within 24 hours after symptoms appear). Intussusception includes medical conditions requiring emergency handling at the hospital.
In the early stages, the doctor will provide fluids through the infusion and reduce the pressure in the intestine. To reduce the pressure, the doctor will insert a tube into the patient’s abdomen through the nose.
Treatment of intussusception will then be performed after the patient’s condition stabilizes. Common forms of treatment that will be undertaken by patients include:
- Barium or air enema. In addition to examination, this procedure can also be used in dealing with intussusception. Barium or air enema is a very effective treatment for pediatric patients, but is rarely used for adult patients.
- Operation. This is a major treatment for adult patients and people with severe intussusception. Surgery becomes an alternative treatment if barium or air enema proves to be ineffective or if a tear appears in the intestine. In the surgical procedure, the doctor will straighten the folded part of the intestine as well as lift the dead intestinal tissue.