Hirschsprung’s Disease Results In Impacted Megacolon And Removal Of Almost 29 Pounds Of Feces

A 22-year-old man with Hirschsprung’s Disease in Shanghai, China had to have 30 inches of his colon removed to relieve him of almost 29 pounds of feces. In the past two decades he had not been able to completely relieve himself and as a result, his colon became swollen with the feces that accumulated over time.

The young man had a condition called Hirschsprung’s Disease and as a result. he suffered from constipation for most of his life. Laxatives were not helpful and he wasn’t able to find any significant release.

When he was brought into the Tenth People’s Hospital of Shanghai, Doctor Yin Lu said that he had the appearance of a woman that was nine months pregnant. The doctor said the man looked like he could explode at any moment. When he arrived, he had a hard time speaking and was quite weak. His abdomen was swollen and the skin was so stretched out that veins could be seen. The veins were quite inflamed.

The operation took three hours and doctors had to remove approximately 30 inches of his colon and the feces that had accumulated inside over the years. The doctors said that he is expected to fully recover.

The disease that caused the accumulation of feces in the colon of this man, Hirschsprung’s Disease, is a congenital condition. According to Inverse, Hirschsprung’s Disease “occurs when portions of a person’s bowel are missing nerve cells.” Because of this, a person with this disease will have a difficult time with bowel movements and it can result in a large accumulation of feces in the bowels. The involuntary contractions that cause the body to push out waste are affected by the nerve cells that are missing. This is known as peristalsis.

healthy colon Hirschsprungs disease
This is what a healthy colon should look like; those who have Hirschsprung's Disease suffer from inflammation and an accumulation of feces [Image by selvanegra /iStock]

Hirschsprung’s Disease is a condition that typically appears in childhood, sometimes as early as infancy. It is quite rare. According to Stanford Children’s Health, Hirschsprung’s Disease affects 1 in 5,000 infants. The anonymous man’s parents may not have realized that the condition was quite so serious. As a result, he never saw a doctor about it.

What do you think? Can you believe that this much feces can be stored inside the body without causing more harm than this man experienced?

[Featured Image by Jan-Otto/iStock]