Role of Rigid Endoscopic Detorsion in the Management of Sigmoid Volvulus

Ngeno M, Ooko PB, Seno S, Oloo M, Topazian HM, White RE

Tenwek Hospital

Correspondence to: Dr. Mercy Ngeno, PO Box 39-20400, Bomet, Kenya. Email:



Introduction: Sigmoid Volvulus (SV) is a common cause of bowel obstruction in Africa, affecting a relatively young and healthy population. There has been little research regarding the use of endoscopic detorsion in the management of SV from East Africa. The aim of this study was to determine the outcome of patients with SV managed by endoscopic detorsion at a single institution over a 9 year period. Methods: A retrospective review of all patients admitted with SV at Tenwek Hospital in Bomet, Kenya from January 2006 to October 2014 was done. Data were collected on demographics, clinical presentation, operative findings, management, and outcome. Results: There were 159 cases with a mean age of 41.1 years (range 15-87). Rigid endoscopic detorsion was attempted in 125 (79%) patients. The success, early recurrence, and mortality rate for rigid endoscopic detorsion was 79%, 6%, and 0% respectively. Eleven (13%, n=99) patients declined surgery after successful endoscopic detorsion, while 87 patients had semi-elective surgery, an average  of 3.5 days post detorsion. Sixty patients had emergency surgery, with gangrenous bowel noted in 43 (72%) cases. Patients undergoing emergency surgery had a higher morbidity rate (27% vs. 5%, p=0.0002), and a higher mortality rate (12% vs. 0, p=0.002) compared to those having semi-elective surgery due to the presence of gangrenous bowel. Conclusion: Rigid endoscopic detorsion is appropriate in the initial management of any stable patient with clinical and radiological features suggestive of sigmoid volvulus without features of peritonitis.

Keywords: Sigmoid Volvulus, Endoscopic Detorsion, Rigid Sigmoidoscopy, Outcomes.

Ann Afr Surg. 2015; 12(2): 85-8.


The Annals of African Surgery is the official publication of the Surgical Society of Kenya.


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