In Hirschsprung's disease,
certain nerve cells (ganglion cells) in a portion of the colon are missing.
Because the muscles in that area can't relax, the muscle contractions that
normally push food and digestive waste through that part of the colon can't
occur. The picture on the right shows a colon in which the rectum lacks
ganglion nerve cells, causing swelling in the area above it.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics Specialist Medical ReviewerBrad W. Warner, MD - Pediatric Surgery
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Brad W. Warner, MD - Pediatric Surgery