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December 1963

Neonatal Hirschsprung's Disease: Treatment of Complete Aganglionosis of the Colon by the Duhamel Operation

Author Affiliations

Former Resident-in-Chief (Dr. Desjardins), Department of Surgery, Hospital for Sick Children, and Assistant Surgeon, Ste. Justine Hospital, Montreal, Canada; Associate (Dr. Simpson), Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, and Assistant Surgeon, Hospital for Sick Children.

Arch Surg. 1963;87(6):1019-1022. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310180135022

Although Hirschsprung's disease in the neonatal period is being recognized more frequently, complete aganglionosis of the colon is rare7 and presents a difficult diagnostic problem.10,16 Treatment of this condition can be successful if the diagnosis is established early.1,3,4,5,7,8

The following patient illustrates the problems encountered in such cases and describes a method of definitive treatment in the neonate.

Report of Case  A 13-day-old girl was admitted to the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, on April 18, 1963. Her chief signs were vomiting and abdominal distention, which had been noted a few days after birth.The baby had been born of a gravida IV mother who had had persistent nausea during her pregnancy. Labor and delivery were uneventful.Birth weight was 7 lb 10 oz (3,459 gm). She was started on breast feedings but did not nurse well. It was difficult to get the infant to take sufficient

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