Pediatric Surgical Associates
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Pediatric Surgical Associates

Hirschsprung’s Disease

Usually diagnosed in infancy, Hirschsprung,s Disease affects the nerves of the large intestine, or colon. The nerve cells do not “signal” the muscles to push the stool through the colon, thus causing severe constipation or blockage. This disease may affect the entire colon or only a segment of the colon.

Symptoms in Newborns

Newborns with HD almost always fail to have their first bowel movement within 48 hours after birth. Other symptoms include:

  • chronic constipation
  • explosive stools after a doctor inserts a finger into the rectum
  • swelling of the belly
  • gas
  • bloody diarrhea
  • vomiting

Symptoms in Symptoms in Toddlers and Older Children:

  • not being able to pass stools without laxatives or enemas
  • swelling of the abdomen
  • gas
  • bloody diarrhea
  • slow growth or development
  • anemia


Surgical removal of the affected portion of the colon is performed. This procedure is to remove the abnormal part of the colon. This may or may not involve an ostomy but usually does not require an ostomy.

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