Pediatric Surgery International

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 445–451 | Cite as

Transabdominal electrical stimulation (TES) for the treatment of slow-transit constipation (STC)

  • John M. Hutson
  • Lauren Dughetti
  • Lefteris Stathopoulos
  • Bridget R. Southwell
Review Article


Slow-transit constipation (STC) is a newly described subtype of intractable constipation in children which we originally identified with deficiency of substance P in axons supplying the proximal colonic muscle. When nuclear transit studies became available, the patients were found to have slow proximal colonic transit, and responded to antegrade enemas. Using the appendicostomy, we found that there was reduced frequency in propagating sequences throughout the colon. We began testing whether transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TES) could improve motility and symptoms, and over several trials have now shown that TES is remarkably effective in treating children with STC, with long-lasting effects. TES holds promise for treating STC, as well as a range of gastrointestinal motility disorders.


Slow-transit constipation Colonic dysmotility Transcutaneous electrical stimulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Hutson
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lauren Dughetti
    • 1
  • Lefteris Stathopoulos
    • 1
  • Bridget R. Southwell
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Murdoch Childrens Research LaboratoryF Douglas Stephens Surgical Research GroupMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Urology DepartmentThe Royal Children’s HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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