, Volume 33, Issue 8, pp 643-646

Operative therapy for sigmoid volvulus

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The medical records of 54 patients treated for sigmoid volvulus from 1983 to 1987 were reviewed. Patient demographics were very similar to previously published results. Four patients (7.4 percent) underwent emergency resection for gangrene with a mortality of 75 percent. Of the 50 patients who presented without ischemia, 23 (46 percent) were managed by nonoperative detorsion while 3 (6 percent) detorsed spontaneously. Fourteen of these 26 patients received no further treatment. Nonoperative mortality was 0 percent. Celiotomy was performed on 36 patients. The type of operative procedure performed had no significant bearing on outcome. Fifteen patients underwent resection and anastomosis; two of these patients died (13 percent). Fifteen patients underwent resection and colostomy with two deaths (13 percent), and six had open detorsion alone with one death (17 percent). The two factors associated with adverse outcome after surgical intervention were patient age and history of previous volvulus. All five deaths occurred in patients older than 70 years presenting with a first episode of volvulus (N=15, mortality=33 percent). No deaths occurred among patients younger than 70 years regardless of volvulus history or among those older than 70 years who were being treated for a recurrence ( P ≤0.01). Patients older than 70 years with a first episode of volvulus represent a high risk if subjected to surgical intervention. Nonoperative detorsion alone should be considered for this subgroup of patients.