Hirschsprung disease

Living with

What risks are involved in surgery for Hirschsprung Disease?

A surgeon should discuss specific risks of the surgery and post-surgery care with the person or parents of the child undergoing surgery for Hirschsprung disease before they do the surgery. This is a great time to discuss complications and possible therapies for those complications. After surgery, the patient is at risk and should be monitored for an inflamed colon and for infection. The colon, or large intestine, is the last part of the digestive system and transports digested food and liquid from the small intestine to the rectum. Signs of infection include fever, vomiting, large abdomen, and less energy. There is also a risk that the colon will tear or rupture. As with any surgery, there is a risk of bleeding.

Depending on how much of the colon is removed, the patient may have short bowel syndrome. Because the bowel or colon is shorter, the patient may not be able to absorb as much fluid and nutrients as before. If the patient does not consume more water and food, they may become malnourished or dehydrated.

About 5% of people who have this surgery will experience severe incontinence or constipation.

"Hirschsprung's disease" Medline Plus. 04 Dec. 2013. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001140.htm


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