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Emergency Medical Minute


Aug 23, 2021

Contributor: Aaron Lessen, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Sigmoid volvulus occurs when the sigmoid colon twists 180 to 360 degrees
  • 10% of intestinal obstructions in the US; 50-70% of intestinal obstructions worldwide
  • More common in elderly patients with chronic constipation
  • Eventually may lead to bowel perforation, a surgical emergency
  • Treatment is sigmoidoscopy or sigmoid colectomy


Lieske B, Antunes C. Sigmoid Volvulus. [Updated 2021 Aug 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from:

Summarized by John Spartz, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

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