Bowel Problems in Adults After Surgical Treatment for Childhood Hirschsprung’s Disease
Hirschsprung’s disease is a rare illness that people are born with (congenital). It occurs annually in about 1 in 5,000 live births. In Hirschsprung’s disease there is a lack of nerve cells (ganglion cells) in segments of the intestinal tract located in the colon and/or rectum.
The treatment is surgery to remove the abnormal bowel segment and restore bowel continuity. Following surgical treatment, most children have a good outcome, but some have persistent bowel problems such as constipation, soiling, fecal incontinence, and inflammation in the colon (enterocolitis). These symptoms can impact the quality of life, which also needs to be addressed.