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The Treatment of Volvulus of the Sigmoid Colon

John M. Beal, M.D.
Arch Surg. 1962;85(6):867-868. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1962.01310060003001.
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The management of volvulus of the sigmoid colon has been a controversial subject. The disagreement over the relative merits of conservative vs. operative treatment of acute sigmoid volvulus probably has been due to the infrequency with which this problem is encountered in this country. The paper by J. R. Prather and R. Bowers which appears elsewhere in this journal is provocative and presents the basic considerations in the treatment of the disease.

It seems likely that sigmoid volvulus will be encountered more often in the future because the number of people in the older age groups in our population is increasing. The majority of cases of sigmoid volvulus are reported in patients over 50 years of age, and the peak incidence is in the eighth decade of life in the larger series. Thus the management of this abdominal emergency must be influenced by the advanced age of many of the


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