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Hirschsprung disease (also known as congenital aganglionic megacolon) can result in a child who has failure to empty gas and stool that can make them ill and potentially lead to Hirschsprung associated enterocolitis (HAEC). Hirschsprung disease can cause your child to have a backup of stool in their colon. They may experience vomiting, a distended tummy, and struggle to have a bowel movement. However, there are a few steps you can take at home that will help keep your child’s colon clean.

The Colorectal Center at Children’s Mercy has developed this video to provide a visual resource for families who need to perform rectal irrigations at home. The video is not intended as a substitute for medical advice from your child’s doctor. You should only perform rectal irrigations if directed by your child’s doctor.

Instructions on this video were created through guidelines that follow best practices and reflect our current understanding of colonic anatomy, minimizing damage, and maximizing the effectiveness of emptying the colon.

Contact your doctor when:

  • You start performing irrigations
  • Abdominal pain, fevers, and feeding intolerance persist
  • The tummy size does not decrease
  • You have questions or concerns