Hirschsprung's (HIRSH-sproongz) disease is a condition that affects the large intestine (colon) and causes problems with passing stool. Hirschsprung's disease is present when a baby is born (congenital) and results from missing nerve cells in the muscles of part or all of the baby's colon. A newborn who has Hirschsprung's disease is usually unable to have a bowel movement in the first days after birth. In mild cases, the condition might not be detected until later in childhood. Hirschsprung's disease is treated with surgery to bypass or remove the diseased part of the colon.
Typically, the most obvious sign of Hirschsprung's disease is a newborn's failure to have a bowel movement within 48 hours after birth.
Other signs and symptoms in newborns may include: Swollen belly, Vomiting, including vomiting a green or brown substance, Constipation or gas, which might make a newborn fussy, Diarrhea, In older children.
signs and symptoms can include: Swollen belly, Chronic constipation, Gas, Failure to gain weight, Fatigue
Hirschsprung's disease is treated with surgery to bypass the part of the colon that has no nerve (ganglia) cells. The lining of the diseased part of the colon is stripped away, and normal colon is pulled through the colon from the inside and attached to the anus. This is usually done using minimally invasive (laparoscopic) methods, operating through the anus. In children who are very ill, surgery may be done in two steps. First, the abnormal portion of the colon is removed and the top, healthy portion of the colon is connected to a small hole (ostomy) the surgeon creates in the child's abdomen. Stool then leaves the body through the ostomy into a bag that attaches to the end of the intestine that protrudes through the hole in the abdomen. This allows time for the lower part of the colon to heal.