Intussusception in adults

Intussusception is rare in adults. It usually occurs along with other problems, such as a tumor in the intestine, scar tissue that formed after abdominal surgery, or long-term diarrhea.

Adults with intussusception may complain of vague abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, abdominal bloating, or a change in their usual stool output, color, or pattern.

An enema or computed tomography (CT scan) may be used to diagnose intussusception in adults.

Surgery is generally needed to treat intussusception in adults. The affected part of the intestine most often is removed and, if necessary, any tumors. After surgery, the person is expected to recover completely.

Last Updated: August 1, 2008

Author: Debby Golonka, MPH

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Brad W. Warner, MD - Pediatric Surgery

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