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Definition of «Volvulus»

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Volvulus: Abnormal twisting of the intestine which can impair the blood flow to the intestine. Volvulus can lead to gangrene and death of that segment of the gastrointestinal tract, intestinal obstruction, perforation of the intestine, and peritonitis. The stomach, small intestine, cecum, and sigmoid colon are all subject to volvulus. Malrotation of the bowel during fetal development can predispose to a volvulus.

Volvulus often has a sudden onset. The symptoms and signs may include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and blood in the stool. The treatment is surgery to free the obstruction and ensure normal blood flow to the bowel. Volvulus is a surgical emergency.

Volvulus is the Latin word for rolled up or twisted and is derived from the verb volvere, meaning to roll or turn about.

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