What is cecal volvulus?

Cecal volvulus is a serious medical problem involving the intestines where the cecum, the first portion of the large intestine, wraps around itself and creates an obstruction. This condition can be very dangerous and is treated with surgery to correct the twisting of the intestine and reposition the cecum so that it cannot twist again. A general surgeon may provide treatment, or the patient may see a gastroenterology specialist for surgery.

This condition occurs when the cecum shifts out of position, instead of remaining anchored to the abdominal wall, and then wraps around itself. The blocked cecum makes it impossible for material to drain from the small intestine into the large intestine. Over time, the tissue can die because the twisting cuts off the supply of oxygen and nutrients, and the patient may be at risk of intestinal rupture if the obstruction is left untreated, allowing the contents of the intestine to spill into the cavity. abdominal.

Patients with cecal volvulus may experience symptoms such as swelling of the abdomen, nausea, and cramps. A medical imaging study will show that there is an intestinal obstruction and provide information about its nature. Colonoscopy may be recommended to gather more information about cecal volvulus and to correct it, in some cases. In other patients, a procedure in which the abdomen is opened to reach the intestine will be needed.

During surgery, the intestine will be gently uncoiled and checked for signs of dead tissue and other complications. Once the surgeon is satisfied with the patient's intestinal health, the intestine can be repositioned and the patient can be closed again. Potential complications of cecal volvulus surgery include bowel perforation and infection, both of which will be significantly less likely if the patient works with an experienced surgeon and has surgery at a reputable center.

Older adults tend to be at higher risk for cecal volvulus. Some older adults experience irregular bowel function and symptoms such as abdominal pain and tenderness on a regular basis, and may not recognize early warning signs of cecal volvulus. In general, any disruption in normal bowel function is cause for concern, even if other symptoms seem familiar or normal to the patient; If a patient is used to abdominal cramps, but usually has a bowel movement once a day and suddenly doesn't, for example, this is a sign that there could be a problem in the intestinal tract.

Go up