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Hirschsprung's Disease Treatment

Hirschsprung's Disease Treatment: Life After Surgery

Most children can lead a normal life after Hirschsprung's disease treatment. However, a few adjustments will likely need to be made.
 
Ostomy
Most babies are more comfortable after having an ostomy because they can pass gas more easily and aren't constipated anymore.
 
Older children will be more comfortable, too, but they may have some trouble getting used to an ostomy. They will need to learn how to take care of the stoma and how to change the bag that collects stool. They may be worried about being different from their friends.
 
Pull-Through Surgery
After a pull-through procedure, 9 out of 10 children pass stool normally. Some children may have diarrhea for a while, and babies may develop a nasty diaper rash. Eventually, the stool will become more solid and the child will need to go to the bathroom less often. Toilet training may be delayed, as the child learns how to use the anus muscle only after pull-through surgery. Older children might stain their underwear for a while after the surgery. It is not their fault. They can't control this problem, but it generally improves with time.
 
Approximately 1 in 10 children with Hirschsprung's disease has difficulty moving stool through the part of the colon without nerve cells. As a result, these children become constipated. A mild laxative may also be helpful. Ask your doctor for suggestions.
 
Diet and Nutrition
One job of the large intestine is to collect the water and salts the body needs. Since your child's intestine is shorter now, it absorbs less. Your child will need to drink more to make sure his body gets enough fluids.
 
An infant who has long-segment disease requiring an ileostomy may need special tube feedings. The shortened intestine does not allow the bloodstream enough time to absorb nutrients from food before it is pushed out of the body as stool. Tube feedings that deliver nutrients can make up for what is lost.
 
Eating high-fiber foods like cereal and bran muffins can help reduce constipation and diarrhea.

Hirschsprung Disease

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