What is Hirschsprung disease?
Hirschsprung disease is a birth defect in which the end of a child's bowel does not contain all of the typical nerve cells. The condition occurs in approximately one in 5,000 newborns. Children with other medical conditions, such as Down syndrome, are at a higher risk of having Hirschsprung disease.
The lack of nerve cells along the bowel in a child with Hirschsprung disease causes issues with passing stool. Because of the lack of ability to sense when stool need to be passed, the bowel does not relax and can cause blockages. These blockages can lead to damage within the bowel. Bowel movements can be difficult to pass even after surgery, as can toilet training, so we are available to help with this as well.
Bowel management for Hirschsprung
Bowel management is a clinical experience in which we work to empty the patient's bowels and colon. This experience can be either outpatient through clinic visits, inpatient or a one-week intensive outpatient experience (we call it bowel management bootcamp). These programs are available for children of all ages who are unable to anticipate or control their bowel activity. This experience is tailored to help patients resume normal bowel activity.