Pediatric Gastroenterology

Rectal Biopsy

The pediatric gastroenterology specialists at the American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, treat disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver and associated organs.
A rectal biopsy is performed to diagnose Hirschsprung's disease, which is a disease of the colon. Most babies with Hirschsprung's disease do not pass stool on the first or second day of life. Babies with Hirschsprung's disease are constipated and have difficulty passing stool because the special nerve cells needed to stool regularly are absent.
What to Expect
  • A rectal biopsy is performed in the clinic.
  • A small, soft, flexible tube is placed a few centimeters into the rectum.
  • The tube has a small blade on the end.
  • Using suction, a small piece of tissue from the rectum is removed.
  • Because there are not any pain nerves in the area of the biopsy, your child will not feel any pain.
  • We will call you when we receive the biopsy results.