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The treatment goal is to unblock the obstruction and restore bowel function. Parts of the treatment may include:


IV fluids may be given to prevent dehydration and shock. You may need a nasogastric tube to help prevent the build-up of gas in the stomach. A nasogastric tube is a tube inserted through the nose, down the esophagus, and into the stomach.


A sigmoidoscope is a tube inserted into the colon through the rectum. The tube allows for the passage of a lighted camera and small surgical instruments. Your doctor can untwist the intestine during this procedure. Untwisting the intestine helps restore blood flow and bowel function. Depending on the extent of intestinal damage, further surgery may be necessary.


If necessary, the section of intestine that is damaged is removed. The two remaining healthy ends are put together with stitches or staples.


American Gastroenterological Society

American College of Surgeons



Canadian Association of Gastroenterology

Canadian Association of General Surgeons



Antatomic problems of the lower GI tract. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: Updated December 28, 2012. Accessed June 14, 2013.

Lal SK, Morgenstern R, et al. Sigmoid volvulus an update. Gastrointest Endosc Clin N Am. 2006;16(1):175-187.

Osiro SB, Cunningham D, et al. The twisted colon: a review of sigmoid volvulus. Am Surg. 2012;78(3):271-279.

Sigmoid volvulus. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated June 21, 2010. Accessed June 14, 2013.


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