Most children with Hirschsprung disease have symptoms within the first few days and weeks of life. Symptoms depend on how much of the intestine is affected. Children with a very short segment of involvement may not show symptoms for several months or even years, while those with longer lengths of abnormal intestine become sick very quickly.
The most common symptoms in infants include:
Older children may have these symptoms:
While most children with Hirschprung disease are diagnosed during infancy, some children may not be diagnosed until adolescence or rarely, young adulthood. Doctors perform several tests in order to confirm a diagnosis, and different studies may be used depending on your child’s age. Most of these tests are not painful, and do not require sedation or an overnight hospital stay.
An abdominal X-ray is used to identify any intestinal blockage.