Hirschsprung's Disease (HD)
Hirschsprung's disease is caused by a lack of nerve cells in the rectum, the last part of the large intestine (and sometimes may involve more of the large intestine). It occurs only in about 1 out of 5,000 kids. When it does occur, symptoms are often present immediately after birth. Most infants will present with distention of the abdomen and failure to pass meconium, the tarry stools passed on the first few days of life. When not detected in the newborn, it may cause chronic constipation although most constipation in children is not caused by Hirschsprung's disease. Doctors at GI Care for Kids are experienced in diagnosing Hirschsprung's disease and in coordinating care with some of the best surgeons in Atlanta in order to treat Hirschsprung's disease.
After corrective surgery, some children continue to have problems with constipation, soiling, or diarrhea. Your team of pediatric gastroenterologists and nurses at GI Care for Kids will help you through the challenges of Hirschsprung's disease as well as other disorders of constipation.
Additional information can be found at these websites:
- A helpful web page from the National Institutes of Health
- A handout from the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
- A comprehensive overview of Hirschsprung's from the American Pediatric Surgical Association
- An easy to read site for parents, including contact information for the American Pseudo-Obstruction and Hirschsprung's Disease Society (APHS)
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