Although Hirschsprung's disease is curable, a low mortality and a certain morbidity have been described by several authors. We will present our experience with the treatment of Hirschsprung's disease at Gaslini Children's Hospital. All patients who underwent a pull-through procedure since January 1993 were included. Data were obtained from a comprehensive questionnaire and from the revision of the notes. The results were subsequently described and compared with regard to age and length of aganglionosis. A total of 151 patients underwent a pull-through. One hundred and twelve of these patients completed the forms and were reviewed. Eighty patients had a classic form, 22 an ultralong. Complications occurred in 28 patients (25%). Postoperative enterocolitis was complained by 25 patients (13% colonic and 59% ultralong forms) and constipation by 15 (equally distributed). Excellent to good continence was experienced by 84% of patients with classic forms and by 68% of patients with ultralong forms. A clear improving trend during growth was evident for patients with ultralong forms. Psychological self-acceptance, patients' perspective and cosmetic results proved to be significantly better for patients with classic forms of the disease. Our study confirmed the complications and long-term sequelae that patients with Hirschsprung's can experience. Early diagnosis can minimise morbidity and mortality and prompt and adequate treatment can reduce the incidence of postoperative complications. The parents should be acknowledged regarding the progressive improvements of function that patients gain during growth, particularly in case of ultralong forms, thus strengthening the need for continuative care and close follow-up.
- Hirschsprung's disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health