What issue does this study address?

Sigmoid volvulus occurs when the bowel twists into a loop, cutting off its blood supply and completely blocking the bowel. This results in pain and swelling of the abdomen, and usually emergency hospital admission. Sigmoid volvulus is responsible for around 10% of all intestinal obstructions. Patients with sigmoid volvulus tend to be elderly and frail, and often have other significant health problems such as Parkinson’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis, or in patients who are on medications that slow the bowel down (e.g. some painkillers or antidepressants).

With limited research, and multiple options for management, there a no evidence-based guidelines for the best management of sigmoid volvulus, or to determine who may benefit from what treatment option.

What are the aims of this study?

The investigators are developing a national multicentre prospective observational cohort study which aims to collect information about the current management of patients with sigmoid volvulus, with the aim of better understanding:

  • Who gets sigmoid volvulus
  • Their patient journey
  • Quality of life
  • Rates of recurrence
  • Hospital admissions
  • Risk of death

This funding will support a Patient and Public Involvement day to invite all relevant stakeholders so that the team may understand the important outcome measures which they can take forward to inform final study design. This funding will support the delivery of this important day, with a plan to apply for further funding upon finalisation of prospective study design.

The research team

This application was led by Mr Nick Heywood, a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.