Hirschsprung Disease

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Why Nationwide Children's?

The Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction (CCPR) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is the country’s leading Center for children diagnosed with Hirschsprung disease and other complex colorectal conditions. At the CCPR, our experts come together from all specialities that could be needed by our patients including colorectal surgery, gastroenterology, urology and gynecology.

Studies show that there is a direct correlation between the number of patients a clinical program sees and high-quality outcomes they deliver to their patients. Since our inception in 2014, we have treated more than 3,000 patients from all 50 states and 73 countries. We see patients with all levels of complexities, but are especially focused on helping patients that have not been able to find help elsewhere, whether for second opinions or corrections from previous surgeries. Hundreds of patient families also attend our Bowel Management Bootcamp each year.

Every child we see is given an individualized treatment plan that can span throughout their life - from newborn, through potty training, puberty, sexual function and childbearing.

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Hirschsprung disease is a condition you are born with, which causes blockage of the intestine. Children with Hirschsprung disease lack nerves in the bottom segment of the colon. These nerves normally allow the muscles in the wall of the bowel to contract, moving digested material downstream toward the anus, so the waste can be eliminated.

A child’s large intestine is about five feet long – and Hirschsprung disease can affect either a small or large portion of the organ. The condition occurs most commonly in the upper rectum or the sigmoid colon, which is the very last part of the large intestine before stool reaches the anus.

Children with Hirschsprung disease will always need surgery to remove the non-functional segment of the intestine, and to restore the ability to push stool through the digestive tract and out of the body. With proper surgical intervention, the long-term outcomes for children with Hirschsprung disease are excellent, and most will go on to recover normal bowel control and function.

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Marc Levitt

Marc A. Levitt

Marc A. Levitt, MD, is Section Chief of Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Richard Wood

Richard J. Wood

Richard Wood, MD, is the Director of Colorectal Surgery for the Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional

Desalegn T. Yacob

Desale Yacob, MD, is an attending pediatric gastroenterologist, Medical Director of the Motility Center and Director of Gastroenterology and Motility for the Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

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Fecal incontinence is something that many children with Hirschsprung disease deal with throughout their life. However we believe every child has the chance to overcome this problem. Our custom approach to bowel management equips families with the action plan to overcoming this sometimes debilitating problem.

The Bowel Management Bootcamp is a seven-day outpatient program for children dealing with fecal incontinence. Patients and families will end the week equipped with:

  • An understanding of how continence works

  • Information on why fecal incontinence happens in children and adolescents with Hirschsprung disease

  • A customized, and proven, treatment plan for each child

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Inside CCPR

The Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction was the first center in the world to formally integrate all specialties involved in providing complete care of the colon and rectum in kids.

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