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Alcohol-induced liver disease
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Appendicitis: Pathology review
Cirrhosis: Pathology review
Colorectal polyps and cancer: Pathology review
Congenital gastrointestinal disorders: Pathology review
Diverticular disease: Pathology review
Esophageal disorders: Pathology review
Gallbladder disorders: Pathology review
Gastrointestinal bleeding: Pathology review
GERD, peptic ulcers, gastritis, and stomach cancer: Pathology review
Inflammatory bowel disease: Pathology review
Jaundice: Pathology review
Malabsorption syndromes: Pathology review
Neuroendocrine tumors of the gastrointestinal system: Pathology review
Pancreatitis: Pathology review
Viral hepatitis: Pathology review
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Volvulus Characteristics and Presentation
Volvulus Diagnosis and Management
volvulus in p. 392
Meckel diverticulum p. 391
The term volvulus actually comes from the Latin word volvere, which means “to roll”.
So a volvulus is an obstruction caused by a loop of the intestine that rolls or twists around itself and its surrounding mesentery, which is the tissue that attaches the intestine to the back wall of the abdomen.
The three most common types of volvulus are a sigmoid volvulus, which happens in the the last part of the large intestine, leading to the rectum; a cecal volvulus, which happens in the beginning of the large intestine, and a midgut volvulus, which happens in the small intestine.
Now, a sigmoid volvulus is the most common type of volvulus, and it can happen in a variety of settings.
One classic one being pregnancy, because the growing fetus can cause displacement and twisting of the colon.
It can also develop, though, in middle-aged and elderly individuals.
This can sometimes happen as a result of chronic constipation, where a big load of stool can act like a pivot point around which the rest of the colon can twist.
Hirschsprung disease, a disease of the large intestine that causes severe constipation or intestinal obstruction, therefore raises the risk for developing sigmoid volvulus.
In addition, there are also abdominal adhesions, where internal scar tissue creates a physical attachment between two parts of the abdomen, which again serves as a pivot point around which the colon can twist.
Volvulus is an obstruction caused by a loop of an intestine that rolls or twists around itself and its surrounding tissue. There are three types of volvulus: sigmoid, cecal, and midgut, with sigmoid being the most common. Risk factors include chronic constipation, Hirschsprung disease, and abdominal adhesions. Symptoms range from mild bloating to severe pain and bowel infarction. Diagnosis is usually made through abdominal x-rays or barium enema. Treatment options include sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, or surgery depending on the type and severity of the volvulus. Surgery typically involves untwisting the intestine and attaching it to the abdominal wall.
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