Volvulus is when part of the large intestine twists on itself and the mesentery. Mesentery is tissue that holds the intestines to the abdomen wall. The twisted intestine cuts off the intestine’s blood supply and affects bowel function.
Volvulus can happen anywhere in the large intestine. It is most common in the lowest part near the rectum.
This condition needs to be treated right away.
The cause of volvulus is not known.
Volvulus is more common in older, inactive people and those who live in care homes. Other things that may raise the risk are:
Antatomic problems of the lower GI tract. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/anatomic-problems-lower-gi-tract. Accessed August 9, 2021.
Colonic volvulus. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/colonic-volvulus . Accessed August 9, 2021.
Atamanalp S, Disci E, et al. Sigmoid volvulus: comorbidity with sigmoid gangrene. Pak J Med Sci. 2019 Jan-Feb; 35(1): 288–290.
Last reviewed July 2021 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Dan Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 8/9/2021
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