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March 1956

Volvulus of the Cecum and Sigmoid Colon: An Analysis of Nine Cases

Author Affiliations

United States Army
From the General Surgery Service, Brooke Army Hospital, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, (Capt. Nelson); Chief, Department of Surgery, and Chief, General Surgery Service, Brooke Army Hospital; Chief of Clinical Surgery, Medical Field Service School; Surgical Consultant, Fourth Army Headquarters, and Professor of Surgery, Graduate School, Baylor University (Col. Bowers).

AMA Arch Surg. 1956;72(3):469-478. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01270210099016

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS  Volvulus is the cause of approximately 10% of large-bowel obstruction in the United States. It occurs most frequently in the sigmoid flexure, less often in the cecum and small intestine, and rarely in the transverse colon or stomach. Prompt recognition and proper treatment of volvulus are important for the following reasons: (1) The recurrence rate is high, and the economic drain on patients forced to undergo repeated hospitalization and noncurative operations is great. (2) With each attack there is an inherent danger of strangulation which is associated with an astonishingly high mortality of from 40% to 60%.* (3) Proper surgical correction practically assures a cure. The high mortality in volvulus is due largely to a failure to recognize the condition until complications are present, to ill-advised conservative measures which do nothing to effect a cure and can be dangerous, or to an attempt to do too much in

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