Hirschsprung disease

PDF download is not available for Arabic and Urdu languages at this time. Please use the browser print function instead

Learn how Hirschprung disease affects the bowel and how it is diagnosed and usually treated.

Key points

  • Hirschsprung disease is a condition in which nerve cells are missing from part of the bowel. This can cause stool to become blocked and make a child very sick.
  • The usual treatment for Hirschsprung disease is "pull-through" surgery to remove the part of the bowel without nerve cells and allow the rest of the bowel to work normally. Some children might need an ostomy before pull-through surgery.
  • After surgery, apply ointment to ease diaper rash and follow the surgical team's instructions for giving pain medicines and returning for follow-up appointments.
  • Bowel infections can occur after surgery. Contact your surgeon if your child has watery or foul-smelling diarrhea, a swollen belly or fever or is vomiting.
Last updated: September 19th 2014