Long-term results of transanal pull-through for Hirschsprung’s disease: a meta-analysis



Several operative techniques have been developed for the treatment of Hirschsprung’s disease (HD) in the past decades. Since one-stage transanal pull-through (TAPT) was first performed in 1998, multiple studies have shown favourable short-and midterm results compared to other techniques with shorter operation length, shorter hospital stay and lower complication rates. The aim of this meta-analysis was to determine the longterm results following TAPT for HD.


A systematic literature search for relevant articles was performed in four databases using the following terms “Hirschsprung/Hirschsprung’s disease”, “aganglionosis”, “transanal”, “pullthrough/pull-through”, “longterm/long-term” “results”, “follow-up” and “outcome”. A meta-analysis was conducted for relevant articles for one-stage transanal pull-through for HD with a minimal follow-up of median 36 months regarding constipation, incontinence/soiling, enterocolitis and secondary operations. Odds ratio (OR) with 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were calculated.


Six studies with 316 patients matched the set criteria and were included in this analysis. Overall 45 (14.2 %) patients had disturbances of bowel function (OR 0.05, 95 % CI 0.03–0.07, p < 0.00001). Of these, 24 (53.3 %) patients experienced constipation, 8 (17.8 %) incontinence/soiling and 13 (28.9 %) enterocolitis. 10 (3.2 %) patients developed complications requiring secondary surgery. Most patients had a daily defecation frequency of 1–3 bowel movements 3 years postoperatively, resembling the stooling patterns of healthy controls.


Nearly 15 % of all patients operated with TAPT for HD continue to experience persistent bowel symptoms with constipation as the main problem. Further studies on the long-term outcome of children operated with this technique for HD are necessary to evaluate stooling patterns, urinary and sexual function as well as general quality of life during adolescence and adulthood.

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Correspondence to P. Puri.

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Zimmer, J., Tomuschat, C. & Puri, P. Long-term results of transanal pull-through for Hirschsprung’s disease: a meta-analysis. Pediatr Surg Int 32, 743–749 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00383-016-3908-z

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  • Hirschsprung’s disease
  • Aganglionosis
  • Transanal surgery
  • Pull-through
  • Long-term outcome