A few weeks after surgery, parents are taught to perform anal dilatations to make sure the anal opening is large enough to allow normal passage of stool.
The colostomy is closed in another operation at least six to eight weeks later. Several days after surgery, the child will begin passing stools through the rectum (anal opening). Shortly after surgery, stools may be loose and happen more often than usual. Diaper rash and skin irritation can also be a problem. Your doctor and nurse will help you with the care needed to keep the diaper area healthy.
Within a few weeks after surgery, stools will happen less often and become firmer. Anal dilatations should continue for several weeks or months.
Some infants may become constipated. To avoid this, we encourage following a high-fiber diet. Laxatives may be required prior to the age of potty training.
In cases of severe constipation, a bowel management program may be developed according to the specific needs of the child. The program may include child and parent education in the use of laxatives, stool softeners, enemas, bowel training technique.