Sigmoid volvulus: failed rectal tube decompression

Case contributed by Dr Chris O'Donnell


Abdominal pain and distension. Failed improvement following insertion of a rectal tube, ? caecal volvulus

Patient Data

Age: 90
Gender: Female

Rectal tube tip (arrow) sits distal to the whorled appearance (arrow) in the sigmoid mesocolon with abrupt transition in colonic calibre (arrow) indicative of sigmoid volvulus

Case Discussion

The rectal tube must be passed beyond the volved segment in order to decompress the bowel. It is usually very apparent to the operator at the time if the procedure is successful as marked gas and copious faecal material erupts from the tube and often around it along the rigid sigmoidoscope!

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Case information

rID: 34846
Published: 11th Mar 2015
Last edited: 23rd Aug 2016
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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