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Disorders of Defecation in Children: What is the Role of the Surgeon?

When a new baby is born, we assume that he or she will spend most of the first few months of life engaged in a small number of basic activities: sleeping, feeding, peeing, and pooping. The passage of waste is a basic function of all living organisms, which is so ingrained and routine that most of us do not even think twice about it. The inability to defecate in children is usually due either to a problem with formation of the anus or with the inability of the colon to push the stool from one end to the other (Hirschsprung's disease and other motility disorders).

Topics: Anal, Rectal Disorders, Fact Sheet, Fecal soiling, incontinence, Hirschsprung's Disease, Incontinence

About the Author

  • Jacob C. Langer, MD

    Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto, Chief, Division of Pediatric General Surgery, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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