Hirschsprung’s disease is a blockage of the large intestine. It occurs due to poor muscle movement in the bowel. It is a congenital condition, which means it is present from birth.
Muscle contractions in the gut help digested foods and liquids move through the intestine. Nerves between the muscle layers trigger the contractions.
In Hirschsprung’s disease, the nerves are missing from a part of the bowel. Areas without these nerves cannot push material through. This causes a blockage. Intestinal contents build up behind the blockage. The bowel and abdomen swell as a result.
Hirschsprung’s disease causes about 25% of all newborn intestinal blockages. It occurs five times more often in males than in females. Hirschsprung’s disease is sometimes linked to other inherited or congenital conditions, such as Down syndrome.
A procedure called serial rectal irrigation helps relieve pressure in the bowel.
The abnormal section of colon must be taken out with surgery. Most commonly, the rectum and abnormal part of the colon are removed. The healthy part of the colon is then pulled down and attached to the anus.