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Hirschsprung’s disease is a type of colorectal condition
that occurs when nerve cells that are normally present in the wall of the
intestine do not form properly during fetal development. During digestion,
intestinal muscles move food forward in a movement called peristalsis,
requiring special nerve cells called ganglion cells. Because these nerve cells
are missing in children with Hirschsprung’s disease, normal peristaltic
movement cannot occur. Consequently, stool backs up, causing either partial or
complete bowel obstruction.
Eventually, a bacterial infection can develop in the
digestive tract, causing more serious problems. Severe worsening of the
obstruction can lead to a hole in the bowel (perforation) and severe infection.
All children with Hirschsprung’s disease require surgical treatment.
Please view the following videos for additional information, including:
Read the PubMed abstract for the article, "The problematic Duhamel pouch in Hirschsprung's disease: manifestations and treatment," co-authored by Colorectal Center director Marc Levitt and published in the December 2011 issue of the European Journal of Pediatric Surgery.
For more information or to request an appointment for the Colorectal Center, contact us.
For more information, learn about Important Topics related to Hirschsprung’s
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