Intestinal Abnormalities

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In addition to intestinal problems that must be corrected at birth to allow an infant to eat and survive, there are others that can cause problems later in life. Among these are emergency problems, such as appendicitis, and problems resulting from abnormalities of development such as abnormal alignment of the intestine which can allow it to twist later in childhood. The intestine can telescope, one section into the next; this process, known as intussusception, sometimes follows a virus infection, especially an intestinal virus. Dr. Liebert was one of the first pediatric surgeons to recognize the connection between administration of the rotovirus vaccine and the incidence of intussusception in young infants; as a result, the vaccine has been removed from use in this country. Many intestinal problems in children are difficult to diagnose; a pediatric surgeon must be an astute diagnostician, not just technically competent in the operating room.

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