Defecation Disorders after Surgery for Hirschsprung’s Disease

Over 1,000 new cases of Hirschsprung’s disease are diagnosed in the USA every year. More than half the children treated appropriately with surgery for Hirschsprung’s disease suffer from chronic problems with constipation, incontinence, and/or abdominal pain. Even as adults, over half will experience occasional episodes of incontinence, and 10% will endure constipation unresponsive to medical management. Nonetheless, adjustment for teenagers and young adults with Hirschsprung’s disease is not different than for healthy children; successful adjustment depends largely on family support. Revised and updated 2009.