Discharge Instructions for Intussusception

Your child was diagnosed with intussusception. This is a condition where part of the intestine slides inside another part. (The same way that parts of a telescope slide inside each other when you close it.) Blood supply to part of the intestine can then become blocked. This can cause severe damage if not treated. Intussusception can happen anywhere in the bowel. It is most common where the large intestine and small intestine meet. The cause is often unknown.

A fluid or air enema is often used to both diagnose and treat the problem. A flexible tube is used to put fluid or air into the intestine. Then, special X-rays are taken. The force of the fluid or air entering the intestine often straightens it.

Home care

  • Let your child return to normal activity as soon as he or she feels up to it.

  • Watch your child for signs that the condition has returned. It can sometimes come back. Look for belly (abdominal) pain that gets worse, or vomiting.

  • Feed your child a normal diet.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your child’s healthcare provider, or as directed.

When to call your child’s provider

Call your child's healthcare provider right away if your child has any of the following:

  • Belly pain that comes and goes

  • Constant belly pain that doesn't improve or seems to be getting worse

  • Vomiting

  • Extreme sluggishness, tiredness, or fatigue

  • Dark, mucus-like, bloody stools

  • Pale skin color

  • Fever: In infants and children 3 to 36 months of age, a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher

  •  Fever: In older children, an oral temperature of 100.0°F (37.8°C) or higher