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Pediatric Hirschsprung Disease

Key Points About Hirschsprung Disease in Children

  • Hirschsprung disease is a rare birth defect. It affects the nerve cells in the large intestine.
  • Children with this disorder are missing nerve cells in all or part of the large intestine.
  • Without these nerve cells, stool can’t move forward through the large intestine. This can cause constipation, swelling, pain and infection.
  • Most children with Hirschsprung disease show symptoms in the first few weeks of life.
  • Hirschsprung disease is treated with surgery.
Children's Team

Children's Team


Anthony Sandler

Anthony Sandler

Senior Vice President and Surgeon-in-Chief
Joseph E. Robert Jr., Center for Surgical Care
Clarivet Torres

Clarivet Torres

Director, Intestinal Rehabilitation Program
Our Stories

Our Stories

Baby Mila in her stoller with a Happy New Year hat.

Mila's Story

As soon as Mila was born at 35.5 gestational weeks, it was clear something was terribly wrong. Mila’s breathing didn’t sound right. Her mother waited to hear her newborn cry. Following diagnostic imaging and genetic testing, her newborn daughter's health concerns were revealed. 



Comprehensive Motility Program

The Motility Program works to help treat a number of motility issues impacting your child’s digestive tract, including abdominal pain, aspirating, constipation and incontinence. Learn more about our Comprehensive Motility Program.

General and Thoracic Surgery

The pediatric surgical experts at Children’s National in Washington, D.C., provide advanced, comprehensive surgical care for infants, children and teenagers.

Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Our gastroenterology experts provide expert diagnosis and treatments for children with digestive, liver and nutrition disorders.


Whether your infant has arrived prematurely or has a critical illness, the Children’s National Hospital top-ranked team assists in coordinating every service you and your baby need, including consultations, assessments, emergency treatments and continuing care.