Colorectal Disorders and Bowel Management

The University of Chicago Medicine's Comer Children's Hospital is a leader in providing care for babies, infants and children with complex anorectal malformations. Our Pediatric Colorectal Reconstruction Center offers a unique, multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis, treatment and long-term management of all complex colorectal disorders:

  • Imperforate anus
  • Cloaca
  • Hirschsprung’s disease
  • Any secondary anomalies, such as neurological, urological or orthopedic conditions

Colorectal malformations are complex conditions that occur when the anus and rectum do not properly develop. In addition to affecting the lower end of the digestive tract, these disorders may impact a child's urinary tract or spinal cord.

Because of the complex nature of colorectal malformations, children require the expertise and attention of a dedicated team, including experts from cardiology, gastroenterology, neurosurgery, orthopaedic surgery, radiology and urology. This team offers the latest diagnostic tools and surgical treatment options, including:

  • Diverting colostomy
  • Posterior Sagittal AnoRectoPlasty (PSARP)
  • Abdominal repair of imperforate anus (laparoscopic or traditional)
  • Trans-anal pull-through (laparoscopic or traditional)

Our center also offers revision surgeries, when appropriate. Our team includes other healthcare professionals, such as advanced practice nurses trained in bowel management and pediatric ostomy management, who are critical to helping children manage constipation and/or achieve bowel continence following surgical treatment.

Since children with colorectal disorders require the time and attention of so many specialists, our team is dedicated to helping families schedule all their consultations in a timely and efficient manner. We also take extra care to ensure families are fully informed throughout the process. In addition to our conversation in clinic, we provide educational materials so that families can share treatment plans with other caregivers, such as grandparents, babysitters, day care providers and teachers.

Through the highly coordinated effort of our expert medical team, our goal is to help our patients live healthy, productive and high-quality lives.