Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
A volvulus is a life-threatening problem. This is because the intestine can die when it is twisted and doesn’t have enough blood supply.
Your child may need IV (intravenous) fluids to prevent dehydration. They may also need antibiotic medicine to prevent an infection. Your child may also need an NG (nasogastric) tube. This tube may be guided from your child’s nose, through the throat and esophagus, to the stomach. This can keep gas from building up.
A child with a volvulus needs surgery as soon as possible. Your child’s surgeon will untwist the intestine. They will also check it for damage. Your child’s intestine will turn pink after it is unwound and circulation comes back.
If your child’s intestine is healthy, it will be put back into their belly. This will move the location of your child’s appendix. This can make it hard for healthcare providers to diagnose appendix problems in the future. Because of this risk, your child’s appendix will also likely be taken out at this time.
If your child’s healthcare provider isn’t sure about the blood supply to the intestine, your child’s intestine may be untwisted and put back into your child’s belly. Your child will have another surgery 24 to 48 hours later. If the intestine has been damaged, the injured section will be removed.
If the injured section of intestine is large, a big part of the intestine may be taken out. In this case, your child will need a colostomy for their digestive system to work as it should.
In a colostomy, the two healthy ends of intestine are brought through openings in the belly. Stool will pass through the opening (stoma) and then into a collection bag. The colostomy may be temporary or permanent. This depends on the amount of intestine that was removed.