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Q. What is the treatment for sigmoid volvulus?

Answered by
Dr. Noushif. M
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 26, 2018

Hi doctor,

My father recently had sigmoid volvulus. His colon was untwisted during a sigmoidoscopy. However, we understand that without surgery there is a high recurrence rate which we are concerned about. We have been told the two treatment options are A) Securing the bowel to the mesentery. B) Removing the short section of the bowel that is prone to twisting. My questions are if a short section of bowel is removed is a colostomy bag always fitted, or can it be done without one? When a colostomy is later reversed and the two sections of the colon are connected back together, does not this present the same problem of feces passing through a section of the bowel which has been operated on before it has had time to heal? So, what is the point of fitting the colostomy bag in the first place?

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Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

The treatment of sigmoid volvulus depends on the general health of the patient and the nature of presentation. In an elderly patient, with multiple comorbid illnesses or who are unfit for anesthesia, the preferred modality is endoscopic (colonoscopic). The recurrence rate of this has to be accepted.

If the patient is fit for surgery, it can be either suture fixed or resected (The redundant segment).

In an unstable patient, especially in an emergency, the chances of healing will be less. Then a stoma is opted for temporary diversion, in order to facilitate a safe anastomosis of intestine later.

In relatively stable patient, an upfront primary joining of intestine ends can be done. The proper healing of the same will allow smooth passage of contents.

A stoma is not always needed. It is used only when a primary anastomosis is unsafe.

The present scenario: endoscopy is the safest option considering age and comorbid.

Avoid constipation at any cost, as it predisposes to volvulus.

Hope your queries have been cleared.

For more information consult a general surgeon online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/general-surgeon

Thank you doctor,

Is there any physiotherapy or training available for patients regarding types of body movement or activities they should avoid to limit the risk of reoccurrence (for example should they avoid bending forwards to tie shoelaces for example)? How can a recurrence be quickly identified? Presumably, constipation would indicate possible reoccurrence and if it persisted should we contact our GP? How long should we wait before contacting a GP if constipation occurs?

#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

As far as I know, there are no physical movements shown to predispose volvulus.

Make sure he has a good bowel movement at least once a day. The stool should be soft.

He should avoid constipating foods. Consume a good amount of water up to two liters a day.

Any worsening of constipation should be consulted with your GP (general practitioner).

For more information consult a general surgeon online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/general-surgeon


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