Alberto Peña, MD, Colorectal Center

  • Hirschsprung Disease

    Hirschsprung 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. Normal peristaltic movement cannot occur because these nerve cells are missing in some children (including Hirschsprung disease in infants and Hirschsprung disease in newborns). 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 disease require surgical treatment.
  • Videos

    Please view the following videos for additional information, including:

    • "Redo Transanal Pull-Through for Hirschsprung's Disease. Watch now.
    • A video about colonic irrigations. Watch now.

    Contact Us

    For more information or to request an appointment for the Peña Colorectal Center, contact us.