What is Congenital Megacolon or Congenital Aganglionic Megacolon?

Children suffering from congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon are devoid of the nerves that exist in the large intestine. As a result, the waste of the digestive system cannot seep through the colon. Over a period of time swelling is observed in the colon due to the accumulation of the blocked stool.

What is Congenital Megacolon or Congenital Aganglionic Megacolon?

Congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon is a hereditary problem that occurs since the birth of the children. Sometimes, the nerves do not develop in whole of the intestines or affect only a part of the intestine. Children affected by the problem since birth face issues in passing the stool within the first 2 days.

Sometimes the symptoms of congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon remain dormant during the birth but they resurface when the child grows up. Surgery is one of the most important options for the children to treat congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon. The affected portion of the colon is completely bypassed or eliminated from the stomach.

If I have More Children, will they also have Congenital Megacolon or Congenital Aganglionic Megacolon?

If the child is suffering from congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon, his or her siblings in all likelihood would suffer from the same. That does not mean you should give up, you need to arrange a meeting with your doctor and find a pre solution for your next pregnancy.

Causes of Congenital Megacolon or Congenital Aganglionic Megacolon

Congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon disease is a genetic disorder in some families.

Congenital Megacolon or Congenital Aganglionic Megacolon

In the condition of congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon, the nerve cells of the large intestines are not properly developed especially at the end part of the large intestine (colon and rectum); therefore the muscles cannot move to push the waste food through the rectum.

When the child is in the womb, the nerve cells develop along the length and the breadth of the digestive system. The never cells are called Ganglia however they do not develop fully in the children suffering from the congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon problem. Sometimes, the nerve cells do not develop into the last portion of the colon. In other cases, the whole colon does not have the nerve cells and it is a nightmare for the child to pass stool.

  • Congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon is a condition caused in the large intestine of the digestive system. Children are affected by the problem since birth.
  • Large intestine comprises of the colon along with the rectum. The colon and rectum forms the last part of the large intestine.
  • Doctors are unaware about the real causes of congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon
  • Congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon causes itself during birth when baby has trouble passing the stool.
  • Infants with congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon do not have the normal bowel movement 2 days after birth.
  • Tests along with symptoms help the doctors to detect congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon.
  • Pull through surgical procedure is used to treat the disease of congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon.
  • Ostomy is a procedure which is performed on the babies prior to pull through surgery.
  • Once the surgery is performed, the baby can pass the stool without any problem.
  • Congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon affected babies can also get the intestines infected with other illnesses even after operation. The disease called enterocolitis can spread quickly.
  • If the baby is infected with congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon, the next new born from the same parents in all likelihood can get congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon.

Signs and Symptoms of Congenital Megacolon or Congenital Aganglionic Megacolon

Although in many babies, the signs and symptoms appear early however in some, they manifest later on in the childhood. If your new born baby is not able to experience bowel movement within the first 2 days, contact the doctor immediately.

Typically, the most obvious sign of congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon is a newborn's failure to have a bowel movement within 2 days after his/her birth.

Some of the signs and symptoms of congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon in new born babies are as follows:

  • Due to problems in intestine, the belly of the baby with congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon becomes swollen. This is the first indication.
  • Another symptom of congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon is the baby might experience vomiting a brown or green substance.
  • Constipation and the creation of gas in the stomach make the baby with congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon cry a lot.
  • Frequent diarrhea is also a symptom of congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon in babies.

The older kids experience the following signs and symptoms of congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon

  • Unable to gain weight is a major symptom of congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon in older children.
  • Increase in the size of the belly is also seen in older children with congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon.
  • Other symptoms of congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon include: constipation, Formation of gas, Fatigue.

You should contact the doctor for congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon if:

  • If the children is suffering from congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon.
  • Even after the treatment of congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon, the child is suffering from abdominal pain.

The specialist will ask you the following questions to diagnose congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon. Try to answer the following questions:

  • At what age the child started to have symptoms?
  • Have the symptoms gone into remission or they worsened?
  • Frequency of the bowel movement
  • Is the bowel movement painful?
  • Does the stool contain blood?
  • Is the child vomiting?
  • Is the kid suffering from fatigue?
  • How are you temporarily treating the symptoms?
  • What are the triggers responsible for worsening the symptoms?
  • Is anyone in family suffering from congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon?
  • Medicines prescribed for the kid.
  • Is anyone suffering from thyroid disease or glandular or parathyroid disease in the family?
  • Is the child suffering from other diseases?

Tests to Diagnose Congenital Megacolon or Congenital Aganglionic Megacolon

Following tests have to be carried out to diagnose congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon:

  • Abdominal X-ray using a contrast dye is a test for diagnosing congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon. Barium is placed in the colon or the rectum with the help of special tube which is inserted into the desired spot. As a result, it takes powerful snaps of the linings of the intestine. One can easily visualize the contrast between the healthy and the infected or nerveless part of the bowel. Generally the disease portion (of congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon) is swollen.
  • Checking of the control of the muscles around the rectum is another test to diagnose congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon. Manometry test is conducted to find whether the rectum muscles are working according to the requirements and the specifications of the users. A balloon is inflated inside the rectum but if the muscles do not relax it can be the indication of congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon.
  • The last method to diagnose congenital megacolon or congenital aganglionic megacolon is by removing a sample of colon tissue for testing. Doctors may like to conduct the biopsy of the colon tissues which is extracted with the help of the suction device. The patients are not required to remain in hospital.

Also Read:

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: May 3, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

Symptom Checker

Slideshow:  Home Remedies, Exercises, Diet and Nutrition

Chakra's and Aura's

Yoga Information Center

Find Pain Physician

Subscribe to ePainAssist Newsletters

By clicking Submit, I agree to the ePainAssist Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of ePainAssist subscriptions at any time.

Copyright © 2016 ePainAssist, All rights reserved.

DMCA.com Protection Status