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Shriners Children's provides specialized care for children with neurogenic bowel.

The goal of our colorectal and gastrointestinal specialty care is to provide children with anal-rectal disorders advanced care and rehabilitation that frees them from social stigma and allows them to live and play like other children.

What is Neurogenic Bowel?

Some children have a hard time feeling when they need to have a bowel movement. This is called a neurogenic bowel. If your child has this condition, they might have problems with constipation or have accidents.

A child with this condition cannot control when he or she has a bowel movement. The muscles in the anus cannot hold back stool between bowel movements and the signals that tell your child they need to have a bowel movement do not work right, either.

How do We Care for Children with Neurogenic Bowel?

Treatment begins with a proper diagnosis, and the pediatric surgeons at Shriners Children's carefully evaluate each patient to develop an individual treatment plan.

Shriners Children's typically helps patients and families by putting them through our outpatient bowel management program where our doctors help you choose what is right for your child. The goal is to give your child predictable bowel movements, keep them accident-free in social settings, and give them their confidence and independence back!

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 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:

Dr. Hirose respected me as a mother and took my extensive knowledge of Jordyn’s medical condition into consideration during the decision-making process.
Yoni, Sacramento
patient sitting on exam table speaking with physician

Colorectal and Gastrointestinal (GI) Care That Transforms Lives

Trouble with bowel control can lead to struggles at home, in school, in friendships, and with emotions, behavior and mental health. Many children can be more active, social, happy and independent if they have a plan for bowel management, and colorectal and gastrointestinal care that works specifically for them. Our program is designed with your child in mind.

Innovative Treatments

View All Related Treatments

Alternatives to Rectal Enemas

Our team provides individualized diets, laxatives and psychosocial therapy to provide relief for children with constipation.

Anoplasty

Shriners Children's pediatric surgeons perform this surgery to correct anorectal malformations that cause painful bowel movements. It involves the reconstruction of the anus to stretch or enlarge the opening where stool drains.

Colonic Irrigation

This alleviates immobile stool in the colon, preventing bacterial overgrowth and colitis. Our team teaches parents to perform colonic irrigation effectively at home.

Colon Resection

Colon resections, also referred to as sigmoid resections or bowel resections, are performed by our pediatric surgeons. The procedure involves removing part of the bowel to treat and prevent diseases and conditions that affect the colon.

Gastrostomy Tube Placement

A gastrostomy tube (G-tube) is placed in the stomach as a feeding tube for children who cannot get enough nutrition by mouth. Shriners Children’s uses G-tubes for children with esophageal, stomach or intestinal problems.

Ileostomy

An ileostomy helps waste and gas exit the body without passing through the colon or rectum. An Ileostomy is typically used when a disease is preventing the colon from working properly or the colon has to be removed.

Ostomy Creation and Closure

Ostomy procedures change the way a child's urine or stool exits their body because of problems with their digestive or urinary system. Ostomies can be temporary or permanent.

Rectal Botox

Rectal Botox injections relax the sphincter muscles slightly, making it easier for a child to pass stool. Shriners Children's considers this method before surgical options.

Next Steps

Request an Appointment

Families and caregivers seeking treatment should start by contacting us for an appointment.

Log in to the Patient Portal

Parents and guardians of existing patients can email, request records, schedule appointments and more.

Refer a Patient

Physicians and healthcare providers can request appointments, start transfers or contact us with questions.