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Dr. Sujit Chowdhary is a leading Pediatric Urologist in Delhi-NCR. He currently serves as the Senior Consultant for Pediatric Urology and Pediatric Neurosurgery at the prestigious Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi since 2005. Dr. Sujit has professional experience of over 25 years in the field of Pediatric Urology with absolutely zero complaints.

Hirschsprung's Disease

What is Hirschsprung's disease?

Most babies have a normal large intestine which helps in water absorption and waste product removal. Hirschsprung's disease is a congenital disorder where the large intestine doesn’t possess nerve cells. This aide in releasing stool from the infant’s body. It happens when the baby is missing a nerve cell in the colon muscles.

How do I know the cause for Hirschsprung's disease in my infant?

  • The genetic factor.
  • Down syndrome in the fetus.
  • Congenital heart disease

What are the telltale symptoms of Hirschsprung's disease in an infant?

Most children with Hirschsprung's disease manifests the sign-in first few weeks. Sometimes the symptoms show late in childhood and sometimes in the adult too. The signs which manifest themselves since birth are:

  • No bowel movement till 48 hours right immediately after the birth of the baby.
  • An infant will have a swollen belly.
  • The baby suffers from a constant case of Constipation and Diarrhea.

In the older kids the symptoms are like:

  • The constant swelling of the belly.
  • The child always feels fatigued.
  • There will be an instance of chronic constipation.
  • The child complaints of gas.
  • The growth will be not proper.

Diagnosis and treatment:

How is Hirschsprung's disease diagnosed in the baby?

We diagnose Hirschsprung's disease in an infant through these methods. It is the precise way to provide healing treatment based on the severity.

  • Abdominal X-Ray- This is different from other X-rays as the dye is used to diagnose this ailment. The dye is injected through the injection in the rectum. It coats the internal bowel lining. During the x-ray contrasting colours shows the bowel without nerves and swollen bowel behind it.
  • Colon biopsy- It is the most optimum way to diagnose lung ailment. The doctor collects the colon tissue through suction tissue. It is examined under a microscope to check for missing nerve cells.
  • Anal manometry- When the diagnosis is recommended for older kids we do an anal manometry test. The balloon is inflated under the rectum. The muscles will relax if there is no intestinal ailment but in Hirschsprung's disease muscle doesn’t get relaxed.

How do I treat my child’s Hirschsprung's disease?

The type of treatment is dependent on the severity of the situation. Being congenital in nature surgery is the only option to heal this condition. The best age for surgery is between infancy. We use laparoscopic surgery to heal this ailment.

  • Pull out surgery- It is done in 4 stages and performed on infants.
  • The infected colon is removed through a laparoscopy tube.
  • The laparoscopy tube is inserted through the anus in the large intestine.
  • The normal section is pulled from inside the colon and is attached to the anus.
  • Ostomy surgery for children- This is the most suggested surgery for very sick children. There are 4 steps involved in this surgery.
  • 1st stage- The colon is removed from the abdominal position.
  • 2nd stage- The healthy part of the colon is connected to the opening in the child’s abdomen.
  • 3rd stage- The stool leaves the body through the opening in the bag till the colon is healed.
  • 4th stage- After the colon is fully healed the stoma is closed and is connected back to the healthy portion of the intestine into the rectum.


Does Hirschsprung's disease heal in the child?


Is Hirschsprung's disease painful?


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