Recurrent sigmoid volvulus in pregnancy: report of a case and review of the literature

Dis Colon Rectum. 2005 Sep;48(9):1811-3. doi: 10.1007/s10350-005-0118-5.


Intestinal obstruction caused by sigmoid volvulus is extremely rare during pregnancy; only 73 cases have been reported worldwide. A case report of recurrent sigmoid volvulus in a 22-year-old pregnant Saudi female and a review of the literature are presented. Despite a previous sigmoidopexy in another institution, colonoscopic detortion and rectal tube decompression was successful until after delivery when sigmoid colectomy was performed. From this case, we propose a treatment option based on the absence or presence of peritonitis and gestational age is suggested. In the first trimester, nonoperative procedure using colonoscopic detorsion and rectal tube decompression is recommended until the second trimester when sigmoid colectomy is performed for recurrent cases. In the third trimester, the treatment is nonoperative until fetal maturity and delivery when sigmoid colectomy is performed. Sigmoid volvulus complicating pregnancy is an uncommon and potentially serious condition and should be recognized as a surgical emergency. Prompt surgical intervention is necessary to minimize maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Volvulus / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Recurrence
  • Sigmoid Diseases / diagnosis*