Shriners Children's provides specialized care for children with chronic constipation.
The goal of our colorectal and gastrointestinal specialty care is to provide children with anal-rectal disorders advanced treatment and rehabilitation that frees them from social stigma and allows them to live and play like other children.
What is Chronic Constipation?
Constipation in children is a common problem and many children experience it during childhood. Chronic constipation is different and can be more complicated to treat. Chronic constipation happens when a child is having trouble passing stool for an extended period of time. Chronic constipation can lead to long-term discomfort and loss of bowel control. Fortunately, most cases of chronic constipation in children are temporary.
Shriners Children’s bowel management care is led by a specialized team dedicated to providing children with behavioral, medical and nutritional therapies they need to successfully overcome chronic constipation./p>
What Are the Symptoms of a Child with Chronic Constipation?
- Having less than 3 bowel movements per week
- The inability to pass stool
- Bowel movements that are hard, dry and difficult to pass
- Pain while having a bowel movement
- Stomach pain
- Traces of liquid or pasty stool in your child's underwear — a sign that stool is backed up in the rectum
- Blood on the surface of hard stool
How We Care for Children with Chronic Constipation
Children with chronic constipation are typically admitted to our outpatient bowel management program, where a team of specialists educate, diagnose and create an individualized treatment plan for the child.
When patients have not achieved success on an outpatient basis, children are seen for more intensive care in the inpatient bowel management program, which is also tailored to the unique needs of each patient and family.
When your child is seen in either of our bowel management programs, they have the input of social workers, child life specialists, nurses, dietitians and physicians. We run weekly multidisciplinary meetings discussing all of the upcoming patients to make sure that each child receives the input of each of our team members.
The goal is for your child to empty their bowel daily with no accidents and have control over their bowels.
We provide follow-up care to monitor your child’s health, prevent problems, manage symptoms and give your child the best quality of life.
Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.
Understanding your Child's Colorectal and Gastrointestinal (GI) Appointment(s)
On the first visit, parents and children typically come for a group overview and educational presentation about bowel management. Our doctors and nurses explain the medicines, enemas and diets we use as treatment options. Each family has a one-on-one clinic visit with a provider from the program to make a plan for their child.
If referred to one of our locations for a more complex condition or surgery, you and your child go directly to the one-on-one visit with one of our providers to build an individualized plan of care.
Sometimes, when deemed appropriate, your child may have a bowel X-ray. This helps us with diagnoses and check whether your child’s plan is working. A nurse from our program will talk with you either in person or by phone to discuss your child’s results.
Our goal is for your child to empty their bowel daily with no accidents and to live with as few limitations as possible. Success depends on your child’s condition and following your plan closely.
How We Support Your Child’s Total Health and Well-Being
Families and patients say that Shriners Children’s feels like home to them, and it's no wonder to us. We know that a child's needs go beyond the physical. Our care teams support their social, emotional and developmental health with patient programs and activities.
A few examples include:
- Child life enrichment
- Creative arts
- Live entertainment
- Music therapy
- On-site public schooling
- Pet therapy
- School and community re-entry program
- Specialty camps
- Therapeutic recreation
Our care team was really amazing. The doctors gave so much thought to Mathew’s different treatment options, so that he could live like any other kid.