Intussusception is the telescoping of one portion of the intestine into another. It generally occurs in young children.
What is going on in the body?
In this condition, one part of intestine abnormally slides inside the part of intestine next to it. This can be compared to one part of a telescope sliding into itself. When this occurs in the bowels, the veins and arteries are squeezed. This results in less blood flow to the intestine.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
In most cases, the cause of the intussesception is unknown. Risk factors for the condition include the following:
abnormalities in the bowel, such as a colorectal polyp
cystic fibrosis, a disease affecting the bowels
a foreign body in the bowel, such as a swallowed coin
injury to the abdomen that causes bleeding in the bowel
a recent illness with diarrhea
upper respiratory infection, such as a cold or flu
Intussesception is three times more common in males than in females. It is seen most often in infants from 3 to 12 months of age.