Intussusception is a form of intestinal obstruction in which one section of the intestine telescopes into the next section, akin to the finger of a glove being turned inside-out.
The telescoped section of the intestine is drawn in further by the action of the intestinal muscles.
Most intussusceptions occur in children.
In most cases, the cause for intussusception is not known. It has been suggested that intussusception occurs most often in children who have had a recent infection that causes a swelling of lymphoid tissue in the intestinal wall. The body treats the swelling as part of the intestinal contents and pulls it along by the action of the intestinal muscles.
Occasionally, a polyp, tumor, or Meckel’s diverticulum may cause intussusception in adults.

Symptoms of intussusception

In children, intussusception usually occurs suddenly, with severe pain, vomiting, and pallor.
The affected child may draw up the knees and scream with the pain.
As the attacks become more severe; the straining to expel feces may cause blood and mucus to be passed from the rectum.
Between attacks, the child may be calm and relaxed and may appear to have recovered.

Intussusception treatment

Immediate hospitalization is vital.
The patient is first given a barium enema to confirm the diagnosis.
The pressure of the enema sometimes restores the affected parts of the intestine to their normal positions.
If this does not happen, a surgical operation is necessary.