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Hirschsprung Disease Related to Colorectal

graphic of  Hirschsprung disease in the large intestines of a baby

Hirschsprung disease is a congenital condition that occurs when a lack of nerve cells in the lining of the colon do not develop in a fetus early on in pregnancy. These nerves would normally work to allow the muscles of the bowel to contract in order to move waste through the digestive system down toward the anus, resulting in a bowel movement. When these nerves do not exist, the wave-like motion that allows this movement cannot occur. Hirschsprung disease results in a blockage of the intestine, severe constipation and a host of other health problems.

The severity of the condition depends on how much of the large intestine has been affected. Typically, the large intestine of a child is about five feet long. The disease can affect any part of the intestine, but most commonly occurs in the rectum and sigmoid colon (the lower part of the colon).

The prognosis for children with Hirschsprung disease is usually very good following surgical treatment to remove the non-functioning part of the colon. Many will go on to have normal bowel function restored.

Learn more general information about pediatric Hirschsprung disease.

Children's Team

Children's Team


Veronica Gomez-Lobo

Veronica Gomez-Lobo

Director, Positive Reevaluation of Urogenital Differences (PROUD) Clinic
Director, Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecologist
Hans Pohl

Hans Pohl

Division Chief, Urology
Co-director, Spina Bifida Program
Andrea Badillo

Andrea Badillo

Director, Colorectal & Pelvic Reconstruction
Associate Program Director, Pediatric Colorectal Fellowship
Marc Levitt, M.D.

Marc Levitt

Chief, Division of Colorectal & Pelvic Reconstruction
Program Director, Pediatric Colorectal Fellowship


Colorectal & Pelvic Reconstruction

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