Surgery is always necessary to treat Hirschsprung disease so that normal function of the bowel can be restored. The goal of surgery is to remove the portion of the intestine that is not functioning so that your child can regain the ability to push waste through the digestive tract.
Surgery is done through the anus and using non-invasive laparoscopic techniques. Non-invasive surgical techniques allow your child to heal faster, experience less pain and in some cases, allow for shorter hospital stays.
In rare cases, if there is enterocolitis and irrigations have not been effective an ileostomy or colostomy may be performed. The types of procedures move waste out of the intestines into a small pouch located outside of the body. This procedure is done to allow the intestines to heal until surgery can be performed if needed.
A colostomy is a surgical procedure that creates an opening for the colon, or large intestine to excrete waste in a small bag located outside of the body. Most babies born with an anorectal malformation will need a temporary colostomy within the first few days of life. The colostomy will ensure the baby can properly pass stool, helps to normalize digestion and greatly reduces the risk of infection.
If your child has a malformation of the large intestines that interferes with waste existing the body, an ileostomy may be performed. an ileostomy involves connecting a part of the small intestine to a surgical opening in the abdomen that allows feces to move outside of the body into a small pouch. This provides a temporary solution for stool to exit until your child is ready to undergo reconstructive surgery. Once the ileostomy is no longer needed, surgery will be performed to connect the large and small intestine.