Surgical Recovery

Avoiding post-surgery complications and improving potty training goals

Post-surgery recovery plans are designed to help your child heal and set the stage for successful, long term bowel control. These plans can cover several aspects of your child’s health including diet, anal dilations, wound care, and potty training. It may feel overwhelming at times, but your healthcare team is there to answer your questions and help you each step of the way.

One of the best ways to ensure good healing after reconstructive surgery is to help your child avoid constipation, which can be particularly difficult in infants and toddlers. The combination of the right diet, laxatives, and fiber is very helpful, and should be maintained up until the age of potty training.

By avoiding constipation, your child can begin to learn a good bowel movement pattern – roughly two well-formed bowel movements a day. When a child understands what a normal bowel movement feels like and approximate frequency, potty training tends to be easier. 

While surgeries can help repair the parts of the body needed to pass solid waste, it cannot always restore the nerves and muscles the body relies on to tell a child when it’s time to go to the bathroom, and to hold in stool. In cases where there are missing or damaged nerves or muscles, severe constipation or difficulties with potty training, a bowel management program may be needed.