Hirschsprung's Disease

To treat this condition, the part of the intestine without ganglion cells must be surgically removed.

Usually, this can be done in one operation. This operation is called the POOP procedure, for "perineal one-stage operation pull-through." This procedure can be performed without an incision on the abdomen. Small laparoscopic or telescopic instruments are used and the operation is done through the anus.

Some babies may require more than one operation. This is called a staged repair.

In the first stage, the part of the intestine without ganglion cells is removed and a temporary stoma is made. A stoma is an opening on the abdomen where the intestine is brought out to the skin. Stool drains through the opening into a bag worn on the outside of the body. Several months later, the stoma is closed and the intestine is sewn together. Your child's pediatric surgeon will talk to you about the best operation for your child.

If your baby has the POOP procedure, he or she will go home in one to three days. If your baby has a stoma, he or she may stay in the hospital longer. Your baby will be ready to go home when he or she is having bowel movements, eating and drinking without vomiting and is comfortable on pain medication taken orally.

If your child has a stoma, you will be taught how to care for the stoma before going home. We will order the supplies you will need.

Babies that have the POOP procedure, or who have a stoma closure, will have frequent bowel movements that can cause severe diaper rash. Once bowel movements begin, it is important to protect the skin around the anus at all times. Your child's nurse will instruct you how to mix and apply a special balm.

See more information in Hirschsprung's Disease: Post-Surgery Care and Stoma Care for Children and Their Families.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Gastroenterology & Liver Practice
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2813
Fax: (415) 476-1343
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Surgery Clinic
1825 Fourth St., Fifth Floor, 5B
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-2538
Fax: (415) 476-2929
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