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Intussusception is a condition that occurs when part of the intestine slides inside itself, similar to how two parts of a telescope slide together.
What are the effects of intussusception?
The cause of intussusception is not always known. However, there are illnesses that have been shown to cause intussusception, including:
Intussusception is an uncommon disorder that affects children of all ages, especially those under the age of 2.
If you think that your child may have intussusception, bring him or her to a pediatric emergency department.
Intussusception can occur even in healthy, well-nourished infants. Signs may include a baby who seems fine most of the time but develops frequent (every 15-20 minutes) episodes of:
If intussusception is not diagnosed, the child will develop an enlarged abdomen, soreness and possibly infection. If you think that your child may have intussusception, bring him or her to a pediatric emergency department.
When you visit Children's Hospital Colorado, your child’s doctor will take a medical history and perform a physical exam. In some cases, additional tests are recommended, such as:
At Children’s Colorado, our radiology testing is designed specifically for kids. We use only the amount of radiation needed to provide a detailed image for diagnosis and our equipment is designed for smaller bodies – so kids are comfortable and safe during the tests.
How do providers at Children’s Hospital Colorado make a diagnosis?
Doctors at Children’s Colorado use your child’s x-rays to see if there is air in the first part of the colon (cecum).
Most of the time, intussusception is treated with a non-operative procedure, which means that doctors first try to treat this condition without surgery.
During a barium or air contrast enema, your child’s doctor will insert air or liquid barium into your child’s colon. This expands the intestine and oftentimes returns it to its normal form.
If a barium or air contrast enema does not work, your doctor will recommend surgery as the next step.
Why choose Children’s Hospital Colorado for your child’s intussusception?
Children’s Colorado cares for sick and injured children, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our Trauma Center is the only Level 1 Pediatric Trauma center in the Colorado region. Our goal is to help children get back to the business of being a kid as quickly as possible.
Surgeons in the Pediatric Surgery Division at Children’s Hospital Colorado are board-certified. We offer leading treatments for babies, infants, children and teens. Our surgeons are specially trained and experienced in the surgical care of kids.
Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner