Children's Hospital Colorado

Hirschsprung Disease (S3:E3)

Hirschsprung disease occurs in approximately one in 5,000 newborns. Despite advances in the diagnosis and management of the disease, patients remain at risk for long-term gastrointestinal morbidity, including obstructive symptoms, fecal incontinence, and enterocolitis, with negative implications on quality of life.

Listen to Dr. De la Torre discuss management of Hirschsprung disease

In today’s episode, we are talking with Luis De la Torre, MD, to unpack the diagnosis and management of Hirschsprung disease and discuss new treatments being explored.

Dr. De la Torre is a Visiting Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the newest member of our International Center for Colorectal and Urogenital Care team at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

In this episode, our expert discusses:

  • Developing an interest in colorectal problems and his related contributions in Mexico
  • Founding the Colorectal and Hirschsprung Center at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Hirschsprung disease as a congenital problem and its prevalence
  • How and when the disease manifests in the colon and its implications for patients
  • The causes of a lack of ganglion cells in the colon and the degrees of severity
  • Why a biopsy of the rectum should be standard procedure when the disease is suspected
  • The importance of meconium presenting in the first 24 hours of life
  • Considering diagnostic studies such as the contrast enema and anorectal manometry
  • The limitation of the contrast enema and why thorough preparation is necessary
  • The complications and possible fatality of colitis in the newborn period
  • Expected outcomes after surgery and the risk of complications
  • Why surgery on newborns with Hirschsprung should not be done immediately
  • New innovations in the treatment of the disease

Treatment of Hirschsprung disease at Children’s Colorado

Our team of multidisciplinary professionals in the International Center for Colorectal and Urogenital Care are here for patients and their families living with conditions such as Hirschsprung disease, anorectal malformations, cloacal exstrophy and bowel complications related to other diagnoses. Our fully dedicated pediatric colorectal surgeons have the most experience in the world in treating these conditions, as well as the largest database of patients with congenital colorectal conditions.

Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.

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