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Pediatric Bowel Management Program

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The Akron Children's Hospital bowel management program is the only one of its kind in northeast Ohio. It’s a 1-week outpatient program for children who are unable to control or anticipate their bowel movements.

Many of the children we serve have trouble controlling their bowels because of a condition affecting their pelvic area, which is typically caused by a digestive system malformation or disease, a spinal problem or constipation.

Common conditions include:

  • Anorectal malformations; imperforate anus
  • Cloacal exstrophy (EC)
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Hirschprung disease
  • Idiopathic constipation
  • Neurogenic bowel
  • Neural tube defects

Led by a pediatric general surgeon and registered nurse trained in colorectal issues and bowel management, our team provides a medical examination. This examination includes imaging studies to determine how well the colon is being emptied, as well as a treatment plan tailored to your child.

The week-long program typically starts on a Friday, so you have the weekend to begin implementing daily strategies for managing fecal incontinence, such as daily enemas or laxatives. You check in each day regarding your child’s progress and return for daily abdominal imaging. We may adjust your child’s treatment during the week until they’re able to go 24 hours with no soiling accidents.

In most cases, your child is able to remain accident-free and transition out of diapers by the end of the week. In some cases surgery may be necessary, but most children can be successfully managed with diet changes and medication.

This focused treatment, with daily monitoring and follow-up, has been shown to be much more effective than traditional outpatient treatment for fecal incontinence.


Contact Bowel Management Program


Location Small Image
Pediatric Surgery
Akron Children's Hospital Pediatric Surgery, Akron
Considine Professional Building
215 West Bowery Street
Level 6
Akron, Ohio 44308
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Our Doctors/Providers


Justin Huntington, MD

Pediatric General Surgeon

Nurse Practitioners/Physician Assistants:

Carolyn Davis, MSN, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner



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