What kinds of treatment, including surgery, did you or your child receive for an intussusception?
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Is it necessary to operate when there is intussusception?
The treatment of intussusception may or may not require
surgery. In some cases, the intestinal obstruction can be reversed with an
enema. The enema carries a risk of intestinal rupture and cannot be done if the
bowel has already perforated. The procedure also requires the availability of a
surgeon, in case
the patient's bowel ruptures or the intussusception cannot be reduced.
If the intestinal obstruction cannot be reversed by an enema, surgery
is necessary to reverse the intussusception and relieve the obstruction. If a
portion of the intestine has become gangrenous, it must be removed. After
surgery, intravenous feeding and fluids are continued until normal bowel
movements resume. Because of the risk of recurrence, patients who are
successfully reduced by enema usually are admitted for observation during the
first 24 hours post procedure, and have no ill effects. Recently, research has
suggested that a select population of the children may be observed for shorter
periods of time (6 hours) after undergoing reduction of the intussesception by
enema, but currently, most patients stay the full 24 hours.