Which patient history is characteristic of sigmoid and cecal volvulus?

Updated: Nov 28, 2018
  • Author: Scott C Thornton, MD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, DSc, MSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Patients with volvulus are commonly elderly, debilitated, and bedridden. Often, the patient has a history of dementia or neuropsychiatric impairment. As a result, only a limited history is available.

More than 60-70% of patients present with acute symptoms; the remainder present with subacute or chronic symptoms. A history of chronic constipation is common. The patient may describe previous episodes of abdominal pain, distention, and obstipation, which suggest repeated subclinical episodes of volvulus.


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