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Does my child need colorectal surgery?

Many colorectal conditions require a surgical procedure to improve your child’s bowel and bladder function and quality of life. Prior to your child’s first appointment at the Comprehensive Colorectal Center (CCC), the colorectal team will review the radiology reports, lab results and other tests. During your visit, the doctors will ask additional questions and often perform an exam.

Sometimes, additional testing, such as an exam under anesthesia, helps your doctors to assess healing and need for surgery. If the team decides that surgery is the best option for your child, we will work with you to schedule the procedure.

One surgery means fewer complications

Because colorectal conditions can involve many different systems of the body, our specialists look at your child's case all together to come up with an individualized approach to treatment. 

Whenever possible, our goal is to provide all the surgical procedures your child needs in one comprehensive surgery. Decreased number of surgeries decrease the need for anesthetics.

Your surgical team

Your surgical team will be led by Dr. Rebecca Rentea, Director, Comprehensive Colorectal Center; Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction Surgery. Dr. Rentea is experienced and pediatric colorectal specialty trained in all procedures related to repairing colorectal conditions and pelvic reconstruction, including a posterior sagittal anorectoplasty (PSARP), cloaca reconstruction called posterior sagittal anorectal vaginal urethral plasty (PSARVUP) and Hirschsprung disease pull-through surgery.

Advanced care for better outcomes

Our doctors use the latest surgical methods and techniques to ensure the best possible outcome for your child. For instance, Children’s Mercy is one of only a few children’s hospitals to utilize a temporary fluorescent dye to assess tissue perfusion during surgery.

Tissue perfusion describes how well blood is flowing to an area. By clearly showing the areas with the greatest perfusion, the dye assists the surgeon’s trained eye in finding the healthiest portions of tissue to use during surgical reconstruction of your child’s colorectal condition.

This safe and effective technology has been used on adults for many years, and now Dr. Rentea and her team are able to bring the benefits of better tissue assessment to children as well.

Talk with your care team

Your team will answer all your questions and make sure you understand your diagnosis and treatment plan. You can always call and talk with them or message your care team through the MyChildrensMercy Patient Portal in between appointments as well.

After surgery

Depending on the type of surgical procedure, your child may be in the hospital for a short stay or be able to return home the same day.  We have several resources that will help manage your child’s condition once they return home, including online tutorials for common home care procedures and a bowel management program and ongoing communication with our team. 

After surgery, we will continue to see your child in the Comprehensive Colorectal Center on a regular basis for follow-up care.

Transitioning teens to adult providers

When it’s time for your teen to transition to an adult provider, we will walk you through the process and make sure your adult provider has all of your history and records.

Children's Mercy is an American College of Surgeons Verified Center

Highest level of surgical care

Children’s Mercy is one of only 10 locations in the nation to be verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center.

Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS)

Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) is a pathway your child will follow for their upcoming surgery. This is a combination of practices that your child’s entire health care team will use to make sure they have the best care before, during and after surgery.

The ERAS pathway helps your child by:  

  • Educating your child and family during your clinic visits before surgery. 
  • Reducing the amount of time your child has to stop eating and drinking before surgery.
  • Using non-opioid medications as the first course of treatment for pain, with opioids as the last option.
  • Preventing nausea and vomiting after surgery.
  • Getting out of bed and moving early after surgery.
  • Drinking and eating early after surgery.
  • Reducing complications after surgery such as nausea, constipation, pain, etc.
  • Going home from the hospital sooner after surgery to allow your child to recover at home rather than in the hospital, when appropriate. 

As a key part of your child’s health care team, you will be able to learn about the ERAS pathway during your visits with the surgical team. We encourage you to ask questions and let your child’s care team know if you have information about your child’s specific needs that might help with their recovery.

Colorectal Surgery ERAS pathway for health care providers

The Colorectal Surgery ERAS pathway was developed in collaboration with the Department of Evidence Based Practice, Department of Pediatric Surgery, and the Department of Anesthesiology. The pathway, along with other evidence-based products, can be found on our website.

Planning for surgery

From free valet parking at the front door to personalized follow-up care during your child’s recovery, we want every aspect of your experience at Children’s Mercy to be beyond your expectations.

Read about how to prepare your child for scheduled surgery, what to expect when you arrive, and resources available while you’re here.

Pediatric anesthesia at Children's Mercy

At Children’s Mercy, a pediatric anesthesiologist is an active member of your child’s care team before, during and after their surgery or procedure.

We administer anesthesia for more than 27,000 kids per year—that’s 74 per day—so our team is experienced at finding just-right doses of medication for kids of all sizes. 

Pediatric Surgery

Chief, Section of Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery; Director, Comprehensive Colorectal Center; Associate Program Director, Pediatric Surgery Fellowship; Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine