Congenital aganglionic megacolon

Calif Med. 1956 Jun;84(6):403-6.


Twenty-one pull-through procedures for congenital aganglionic megacolon (Hirschsprung's disease) have been performed at the Los Angeles Children's Hospital since the adoption of the etiological concept of a distal aganglionic segment in 1949. In 14 cases the Swenson procedure as modified by Hiatt was employed, with perineal excision of the colon segment. There were four postoperative deaths and three symptomatic recurrences in this group. Three patients were treated by transabdominal resection of colon and rectum with subsequent pull-through reconstruction (Swenson). Anterior resection (State) was carried out in two cases. Three children with recurrence of symptoms following primary operation were subjected to a secondary pull-through procedure with an eventual successful outcome. The major portion of the postoperative mortality (29 per cent) in this group occurred in infants less than six months of age in whom anastomotic disruption or proximal segment infarction occurred after operation.A study of 31 cases of congenital aganglionic megacolon in very young infants drew attention to the difficulty of establishing a diagnosis in this age group even at exploratory laparotomy. Among these infants the mortality rate was excessive, regardless of the form of therapy employed. Colostomy appeared to be the indicated surgical procedure if a conservative regimen failed to control intractable colonic obstruction during the first year of life.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Colonic Diseases*
  • Colostomy*
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures*
  • Hirschsprung Disease*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intestinal Obstruction*
  • Laparotomy*
  • Los Angeles
  • Male
  • Megacolon*
  • Orthopedic Procedures*
  • Perineum*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Rectum*
  • Recurrence*

Supplementary concepts

  • Aganglionosis, total intestinal
  • Hirschsprung disease 1