What is the efficacy of therapeutic enema in the treatment of intussusception?

Updated: Dec 20, 2018
  • Author: A Alfred Chahine, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Answer

When therapeutic enema is successful, the results are immediate and extremely gratifying. The infant falls asleep almost immediately, and the obstruction is relieved, allowing the resumption of a normal diet. A short period of overnight observation usually is warranted before discharge.

Therapeutic enema is of no value in patients with small bowel–to–small bowel intussusception, which usually occurs in older children who have other associated diseases (eg, HSP, hemophilia, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, malignancies).

Intussusception in the first month of life is rare. Most of these patients are found to have a surgical lead point; therefore, enemas are rarely successful and are potentially dangerous.


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