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Why does my child need a stoma?

There may have been many medical reasons why your child’s doctor recommended that he/she needs an operation for a stoma. These can include:
 
Imperforate anus The opening to the anus is missing or blocked. This means that there is no exit for the bowel or its contents
Hirschsprung’s disease Nerves that make the bowel work are missing. The bowel muscles are unable to push waste material through the bowel causing a blockage and a swollen abdomen
Inflammatory bowel disease Includes Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis, where areas of the gut become inflamed causing damage, obstructions or leakages
Neonatal necrotising enterocolitis Most common in low birth weight or premature babies. For unknown reasons, parts of the bowel start to die
Bladder exstrophy The bladder and genitalia are not properly formed
Cloacal exstrophy The large bowel, bladder and genitalia are not properly formed
Eagle-Barrett Syndrome Urinary problems and the absence of stomach muscle

Most stomas in children are put in place shortly after birth. It may be distressing at first to realise that your baby has one of these conditions and to be told that they will need surgery. However, rest assured that your medical team has helped people through the steps that you and your baby/child are going through and that this surgery will allow your child to experience a fully, active and happy life.  Stomas relieve often painful and uncomfortable symptoms.

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