Childr Health Information

Hirschsprung's Disease

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Topic: Diseases & Conditions

This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about Hirschsprung’s Disease. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to go over any information you do not understand.

WHAT IS HIRSCHSPRUNG’S DISEASE?
In Hirschsprung’s Disease there is decreased movement of material through the intestine (or bowel). The absence of nerve cells in a part of the intestine prevents normal movement from occurring. The affected part is narrow and the part above it is enlarged and filled with gas and stool (BM). The movement of stool through this area becomes difficult.

WHAT CAUSES HIRSCHSPRUNG’S DISEASE?
The cause of Hirschsprung’s Disease is unknown. It is not hereditary, but more than one member of the family may have the disease.

HOW IS HIRSCHSPRUNG’S DISEASE DIAGNOSED?
The symptoms include:
a. constipation, hard stools or hard to pass stools (most common)
b. abdominal swelling and abdominal pain
c. vomiting (throwing up) of yellow/green liquid
d. refusal to eat
e. failure to grow
These symptoms may be present at birth or may appear during infancy. The disease is diagnosed by:
a. doctor’s exam of your child, including the rectum (where stool comes out)
b. x-ray of your child’s abdomen (barium enema)
c. biopsy (obtaining small pieces of tissue) from the rectum
d. rectal manometry – measuring pressure in the rectum

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR HIRSCHSPRUNG’S DISEASE?
The portion of the intestines without the nerve cells is removed. A colostomy is made by bringing part of the intestine through a small hole made in the abdomen. Your child will now pass stool through this hole. Your child will need to wear a plastic pouch over the hole to collect the stool. Surgery to correct the bowel problem may be done when your child weighs 20 pounds and is in good health. The colostomy may be closed then or in another surgery a few weeks later. In some cases, a surgical procedure can be completed to remove a portion of the intestines without needing a colostomy. Your doctor will discuss your child’s options.

HOW WILL I CARE FOR MY CHILD WITH A COLOSTOMY?
You may feel afraid about caring for your child’s colostomy. Your child’s nurses will help you learn to take care of your child before discharge. There is a nurse that can help you with questions before surgery. Call 641-8411 to set up an appointment with the nurse.

PDF: Child Health Information - HIRSCHSPRUNG’S DISEASE

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar www.childrensdayton.org (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1993, 1995, 2002, 2004

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1993, 1995, 2002, 2004

 

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