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Small Bowel Volvulus: Risk Factors & Treatment.
Small bowel volvulus (SBV) is a twisting of the small intestine. This can block the flow of blood and food through the intestine, and it can lead to serious complications, such as gangrene and perforation.
Risk factors for small bowel volvulus:
- SBV is more common in older adults.
- Certain medical conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and diverticulitis, can increase the risk of SBV.
- Previous abdominal surgery can also increase the risk of SBV.
- Chronic constipation can also increase the risk of SBV.
Symptoms of small bowel volvulus
The symptoms of SBV resembles to small bowel obstruction and it can vary depending on the severity of the condition. However, some common symptoms include:
- The pain is often severe and colicky.
Nausea and vomiting: The vomiting may be green and bile-stained.
- The patient is unable to pass stool or gas.
- The abdomen becomes swollen and bloated.
Shock: In severe cases, the patient may go into shock.
Diagnosis of small bowel volvulus
SBV is typically diagnosed based on the patient’s symptoms and a physical examination. The doctor may also order imaging tests, such as an X-ray or CT scan, to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment of small bowel volvulus
SBV is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment.
The goal of treatment is to relieve the obstruction and prevent further damage to the intestine.
The most common treatment for SBV is surgery. During surgery, the surgeon will untwist the intestine and repair any damage. In some cases, the surgeon may need to remove a portion of the intestine.
If the patient is not stable enough for surgery, the doctor may try to relieve the obstruction using a nasogastric tube. A nasogastric tube is a thin tube that is inserted through the nose and into the stomach.
Prognosis for small bowel volvulus
The prognosis for SBV depends on the severity of the condition and how quickly it is diagnosed and treated. Early diagnosis and treatment can lead to a good outcome. However, if the condition is not treated promptly, it can lead to serious complications, such as gangrene and perforation, which can be life-threatening.
Prevention of small bowel volvulus
There is no surefire way to prevent SBV, but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk, such as:
- Treat any underlying medical conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and diverticulitis.
- Avoid chronic constipation.
- Eat a healthy diet that is high in fiber.
- Get regular exercise.
If you have any concerns about SBV, talk to your doctor. They can help you to develop a plan to reduce your risk and manage the condition if it does occur.