Friday, January 29, 2010

Meconium Ileus

**This blog post has a graphic photo of a surgical procedure. This photo has been posted for educational purposes and is not meant to offend anyone.**

Lucy was born with an intestinal obstruction called Meconium Ileus.

Meconium is the special name for a baby's very first poop. The meconium poop is made up of amniotic fluid, intestinal cells, bits of mucus, and is very thick and sticky. The Ileum is the last of the three sections of the small intestine. The Ileum also the section of intestine where the appendix resides.

Meconium Ileus is a blockage in the small intestine that is caused by extra thick meconium in a newborn baby. Over 10% of babies with Cystic Fibrosis are born with this obstruction. Since the mucus in a CF baby can be significantly thicker than a normal newborn, the first poop gets stuck in the bowels causing the abdomen to swell. At birth, Lucy was very swollen and looked bloated. We new right away that there was a problem.

Ultrasounds and x-rays showed multiple obstructions in Lucy's small intestine. Her surgeon first tried to give her an enema to get the meconium to break free. They found that her intestine had been blocked with poop for so long that the intestine grew and closed up on itself. Her intestine was completely kinked and closed shut. Surgery would be necessary to "cut and paste" her intestine back together again.

While in surgery, her surgeon took a photo of one of the blockages, saying that it was one of the more serious cases of Meconium Ileus they had seen in their hospital. In the photo, you can see how much meconium was in Lucy's intestine. The large part being held by the surgeon is filled with meconium, and the smaller part has grown completely together and only has small, rock-hard "pebbles" in it.

Lucy's surgery was successful. There were multiple blockages and many inches of intestine removed from her stomach. They even took out her appendix while they were in there.


  1. Wow, that is shocking! How is Lucy doing now with her digestion? My son had a suspected meconium ileus in utero (which ultimately led us to finding out he has CF) so we were very worried about him having surgery as a newborn. Luckily, the obstruction resolved itself a couple months before he was born. However, he does have chronic digestive problems, teetering between constipation and diarrhea. He was hospitalized around his first birthday for extreme constipation which required a nasogatric tube and GoLytely pumped into him for hours after several enemas didn't work. He is on a high dose of Miralax twice a day and we are constantly having to tweak this to try to keep him balanced. I see on Lucy's med list a thing called Culturelle? I was wondering if your daughter's specialist advised taking those? My son just came off Bactrim and he was having really bad diarrhea throughout that and they said to give him yogurt twice a day, which he enjoys eating, but I thought that the Culturelle might be a nice alternative and wanted to ask my son's doctor about it next time. Just wondering what info you have on it because you know your stuff!!

  2. Wow.. I bet that was scary..... Lane lost his Meconium in the womb with a really stressed labor and he was a few weeks early, but I had heard that this blockage is common amoung
    cf but never seen it.. Thanks for sharing, that is crazy....


All your comments are appreciated! I'd love to hear from you...

Related Posts with Thumbnails