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Shriners Children's outpatient bowel management care puts children on the path to independence.

Trouble with bowel control (fecal incontinence) can lead to struggles at home, in school, in friendships, with emotions, behavior and mental health. Our treatment plans incorporate care and support in all of these areas. Many children with bowel management problems can be more active, social, happy and independent if they have a plan for bowel management that works for them. . 

What is Outpatient Bowel Management?

Our bowel management care and programs are for children who are unable to anticipate or control their bowel activity. After children participate in the initial intensive therapy period, many of them advance to wearing normal underwear by the end of the first week. By maintaining bowel management after the initial treatment period ends, these patients can avoid bowel accidents, bed-wetting, permanent colostomy and dependence on diapers. The improvement in self-esteem and quality of life is often remarkable. The program is designed primarily for children age 3 and up.

At Shriners Children's we understand that each child is unique. Together, we work with patients and families to create the best possible outcome, with the goal of your child being able to stay clean and in underwear.

Our care relies on methods shown to achieve results. We carefully adapt these methods to find the right balance for your child. We want you and your child to leave with a clear plan that you can use at home, and that may change your child’s daily life for the better.

How We Provide Care for Outpatient Bowel Management

If your child is participating in an outpatient program for bowel management care, families will generally meet in a group setting led by the nurse case manager, along with a registered dietician and child life specialist. During this initial, educational visit, the patient and their parent will receive information on the program, the work-up for constipation, dietary changes to improve constipation and how to help the child cope with their diagnosis.

Then, further visits are conducted one-on-one with a medical provider to put a custom bowel management plan together for the child. When deemed appropriate, your child will have bowel X-ray. This helps us check whether your child’s plan is progressing as expected.

When patients have severe constipation or have not achieved success in an outpatient bowel management program, some of our locations offer intensive inpatient bowel management care that is tailored to the unique needs of each patient and family.

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.

Why Our Pediatric Care Teams Are Different

At Shriners Children’s we take a multidisciplinary approach to care. Your child’s care plan for bowel management will have the input of social workers, child life specialists, nurses, dietitians and physicians, and, you. This same team will follow your child’s progress, making recommendations along the way, keeping you informed and answering any questions you may have.

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:

Not all programs are available at every location. Contact your child’s care manager or any member of your child’s care team to learn more.

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.
Tiffany, Sacramento
male physician, female patient and mother

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. 

Conditions We treat

View All Related Conditions

Anorectal Malformations

Shriners Children's provides specialized care for children with anorectal malformations and other colorectal and gastrointestinal (GI) health problems.

Fecal Incontinence

At Shriners Children's, we provide specialized care for children with fecal incontinence and other colorectal and gastrointestinal (GI) health problems.

Chronic Constipation

Shriners Children's provides specialized care for children with chronic constipation and other colorectal and gastrointestinal (GI) health problems.

Bladder Control Issues

Common signs of a bladder control issue for a child include day or nighttime bedwetting, urgent or frequent urges to pee or leaking urine.

Hirschsprung Disease

Shriners Children’s provides comprehensive care for children with Hirschsprung Disease, a birth defect that most commonly affects the colon (large intestine) and causes problems with passing stool.


Diarrhea is loose and watery stool and is a common problem. Shriners Children’s cares for children with diarrhea that has lasted for weeks or longer to address more serious issues such as inflammatory bowel disease.

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.