Constipation in children is a common problem
Constipation in children is a common problem. In most cases it can be simple and can be managed with dietary modification and some medications. Constipation may be a complicated problem and needs surgical intervention. Detailed history and physical examination are the key for diagnosing the underlying cause of constipation and directs the management. Our baby Hala started to have constipation soon after birth and continued till she was 6-month-old. Hala’s family had advises how to treat her constipation but with no improvement.
Then Hala was seen by Dr.Suhail Shabib (Pediatric gastroenterologist) in Royal Hospital for Women and children and he noticed that she has anal stenosis. She had radiological work up and surgical consultation. When I examined her, she had recto-perineal fistula which is one of the anorectal malformations in children where the rectum and anal area are not well developed. We started her on dilatation and washout for 1 month then she had examination under anesthesia to locate the sphincter. The fistula opening was outside the sphincter and that indicates the need for surgical correction. Hala had her surgery done which required 3 hours to reconstruct her rectum and anal area and was successful. She had a smooth recovery and she started passing stools normally few hours after surgery. She completed her hospital course and discharged home. She has normal bowel movements 4-5 times daily with no difficulty.
We always encourage parents to seek medical advice if their child is constipated. Constipation could be also due to a surgical problem which can be corrected and gives the child a normal life style. Always make sure to give detailed history and have your child examined by experienced doctor. We hope all the best for our lovely children.
Dr. Hussein Ahmed Hamdy
MRCSEd, FEBPS, ABHS(Pediatric Surgery)
Pediatric Surgery Consultant
Royal Hospital for Women and Children