For people with intussusception, treatment often involves an enema or surgery. An experienced radiologist can often "unfold" the intussusception using an enema to push the enfolded intestine back into its normal position. In some cases, no intussusception treatment is needed -- the problem goes away on its own.
Once an intussusception diagnosis is made, there are several treatment options available. Examples of common intussusception treatment options include:
- Barium enema
The specific intussusception treatment recommended will depend on a number of factors, such as:
- The extent of the problem
- The cause of intussusception (see Causes of Intussusception)
- The age and general health of the patient.
An experienced radiologist often can "unfold" the intussusception using an enema of air or fluid under pressure to push the enfolded intestine back into its normal position. When this does not work, surgery is required to "unfold" the intestine.
Both adults and children may require surgery to straighten or remove the involved section of bowel. The outcome of this surgery depends on the stage of the intussusception at diagnosis and the underlying cause of the problem.
With early intussusception treatment, the outcome is generally excellent. If intussusception is not diagnosed promptly, especially in children, it can cause serious damage to the portion of the bowel that is unable to get a normal blood supply.
In some cases, usually in children, intussusception may be temporary and reverse on its own. If no underlying cause is found in these cases, no specific intussusception treatment is required.