Hirschsprung’s disease or megacolon is a genetic disorder that is classified by an absence of nerve cells in the bottom portion of the 5′ large colon. These ganglia nerves are responsible for allowing muscles to contract (peristalsis), which moves digested food through the colon to the anus. In other words, a bowel movement will form, within the intestines, but the child will not be able to expel it from their rectum. Instead, the food will become blocked in the colon, which causes many secondary problems such as pain and enterocolitis ( infection of the intestines).
This disorder is more common in male newborns than females and effects 1 of every 5,000 live births (Nationwide Children’s).