What are the treatment options for intussusception?

Updated: Dec 20, 2018
  • Author: A Alfred Chahine, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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From a clinical perspective, using a cutoff age of 3 years is helpful for dividing patients with intussusception into 2 groups. Patients aged 5 months to 3 years who have intussusception rarely have a lead point (ie, idiopathic intussusception) and are usually responsive to nonoperative reduction. Older children and adults more often have a surgical lead point to the intussusception and require operative reduction.

A decreased rate of operative intussusception management is noted in specialized pediatric hospitals compared with nonpediatric hospitals. This is attributed to the increased experience with and use of the various radiologic reduction techniques. [25]

Intussusception seen in patients older than age 2-3 years may be associated with various medical conditions or situations. The intussusception in these patients is usually small bowel to small bowel; therefore, therapeutic enemas are less helpful and are usually unsuccessful.

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