How to Treat Hirschsprung Disease

Hirschsprung disease is a disease affecting the large intestine. It has constipation as its main symptom and is usually seen from birth. This can result in intestinal blockages that can be serious. It is categorized by the lack of nerve cells in a section or all of the large intestine.

Hirschsprung Disease Diagnosis

After an overview of the symptoms, your doctor may do x-rays, biopsies, or something called a manometry. A manometry is a small balloon that goes into the rectum. When the balloon is inflated the rectum will naturally relax, if it doesn’t, Hirschsprung disease may be the cause.

Treatment by Ostomy Surgery

This is where the bowel movements will come through an opening in the abdomen. This is not the first choice and is a last resort method. The surgeon removes the diseased part of the intestine and moves it instead of to the anus to the abdomen. An opening there, called a stoma, will go into an ostomy pouch. These pouches the patient will change several times a day as stool is dumped into them.

Ileostomy and Colostomy

If the large intestine is removed and the small intestine is attached to the stoma on the abdomen wall, it is called an ileostomy. If a part of the large intestine remains and it is that which is attached to the stoma, it is called a colostomy.

Treatment by Pull-through Procedure

There is a surgery called the pull-through procedure that is helpful in the treatment of Hirschsprung disease. By this surgery, the doctor removes a large intestine segment that is lacking the nerve cells and connects the healthy segment of intestine to the anus.

Source: National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

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