Purpose of review: Ideally, after operative intervention, a child born with Hirschsprung disease (HD) should thrive, achieve fecal continence, and avoid recurrent episodes of abdominal distention and enterocolitis. However, a significant number of patients continue to struggle following their pull-through procedure. The purpose of this review is to present an organized and practical approach to the evaluation and management of the symptomatic patient post pull-through operation for HD.
Recent findings: Children diagnosed with HD who are not doing well after their initial operation can be categorized in three distinct groups: (1) those that have fecal incontinence, (2) those with obstructive symptoms, and (3) those with recurrent episodes of enterocolitis. It is important to have a systematic diagnostic approach for these patients based on a comprehensive protocol. All three of these patient groups can be treated with a combination of either medical management, reoperation when a specific anatomic or pathologic etiology is identified, or botulinum toxin for non-relaxing sphincters contributing to the obstructive symptoms or recurrent enterocolitis. For patients not doing well after their initial pull-through, a systematic workup should be employed to determine the etiology. Once identified, a multidisciplinary and organized approach to management of the symptomatic patients can alleviate most post pull-through symptoms.
Keywords: Bowel management; Enterocolitis; Incontinence; Obstruction; Post pull-through complications; Soiling.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.