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Hirschsprung Disease Related to Colorectal

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

Providers

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

Chief, Division of Urology
Urologist
Marc Levitt, M.D.

Marc Levitt

Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgeon
Departments

Departments

Colorectal Program

The Children’s National Pediatric Colorectal Program offers the latest advancements in diagnosis and treatment for all types of pediatric colorectal disorders. 

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