Background/purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate long-term outcome and quality of life after the Swenson operation for rectosigmoid Hirschsprung's Disease (HD).
Methods: Forty-five patients who underwent the Swenson procedure for HD underwent follow-up for 8 to 16 years. Long-term outcome and quality of life were assessed by interviews and questionnaires including scoring systems. Forty-four healthy children with similar age, sex, and education level distributions used as controls.
Results: In 45 patients, 23 (51.1%) had bowel dysfunction. Seventeen patients (37.8%) suffered from fecal soiling. According to the clinical bowel function scoring system, the patients' scores (7.6 +/- 2.1) were significantly lower than those of the controls (11.4 +/- 0.6; P <.05). Because of poor fecal continence, 25 patients (55.7%) had to restrict their foods. School absence occurred in 6 (13.3%) patients. Seven patients (15.6%) had problems in peer relationships. According to the Quality-of-Life Scoring Criteria, 86.7% patients had good or fair quality of life. The patients' scores (7.7 +/- 2.9) were significantly lower than those of the controls (11.6 +/- 0.7; P <.05). And the scores of patients who had fecal soiling and incontinence (6.3 +/- 2.7) were significantly lower than those of patients without fecal soiling and incontinence (8.4 +/- 2.6; P <.05).
Conclusions: Although most patients had good or fair quality of life after surgical correction for HD, the long-term outcome and quality of life are not as good as surgeons expected. The bowel function and quality of life of the patients were poorer than those of healthy children. Fecal soiling is very common and affects patients' quality of life. Long-term regular follow-up is indispensable. Close attention should be paid to minimizing bowel dysfunction for patients with HD postoperatively to improve their quality of life.
Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.