Bowel Management Program

The Bowel Management Program uses various approaches to help children who have colorectal conditions that have required surgical interventions to achieve social continence. Social continence is when a child with a colorectal condition does not have any stooling accidents, can stool with regularity and is not soiling during the day. Our goal is for our patients to participate in all social activities while the confidence of being accident-free. 

Our champs, the children in the program, have undergone many procedures and tests to treat their surgical conditions. Following their surgeries, they may be faced with fecal incontinence (involuntary passage of stool), which makes it difficult to participate in normal daily activities. Our multifaceted program is structured to help these children become socially continent and participate in all social activities without the fear of having an accident.

Through this program, we treat children with the following surgical conditions.

One Family's Experience

Learn how one family dealt with their child’s diagnosis and how they worked though it with the help of the Lurie Children's Bowel Management Program team. 

The Lurie Children's Difference

Our surgical team’s mission is to improve the quality of life of each child by helping them achieve social continence. We help children maintain their health and growth while acknowledging each child as an individual. We place importance on their moral, intellectual, social, emotional and physical development.

Our program has three different aspects to offer a complete approach to these conditions, which include our Continuity Clinic, CHAAMPS Camp and Combined Clinic.

Continuity Clinic

Most children are able to achieve social continence in our Continuity Clinic. The Continuity Clinic consists of routine appointments with a pediatric surgeon and an advanced practice nurse (APN) who work with families and participants at our Lurie Children’s Main Hospital and New Lenox. Our social worker, a dietician and a Spanish interpreter are also available during these appointments.

In these appointments, we focus on educating patients and families about their surgical conditions. Keeping everyone involved and informed about their condition and treatment plan helps ensure patients’ long-term social continence success.

Combined Clinic

The Combined Clinic occurs once a month and provides our patients with a broader spectrum of care and expertise. These visits take place at our main hospital. Our combined clinic specialists include our gastroenterologist John Fortunato, MD and advance practice nurses (APNs). This referral-based program also has a social worker, a dietician and a Spanish interpreter available.


The CHAAMPS Camp is a week-long bowel management program for children who need more assistance. The program takes a closer look at the participants’ daily activities to see how they may be impacting the child’s incontinence. This referral-based program includes treatment by our main team as well as our urology team. It features a lecture series and social support groups for children and parents.

What to Expect

During your visit to the Continuity Clinic, you will meet with one of our surgeons and APN. We will discuss your child’s medical history and develop a treatment plan. We will also take time to educate your family on your child’s condition because understanding the management of complex conditions is important to children’s long-term success in the program.

You and your child will then be seen routinely until social continence is achieved. The timing of these visits will vary based on your child’s plan.

Our dietitian, Spanish interpreter and a social worker are available to assist with any needs that may arise during the planning process.

During your visit, we may decide that your child meets the criteria for CHAAMPS Camp or the Combined Clinic. Referrals will be made accordingly.

X-rays & Tests

An abdominal x-ray may be needed prior to the appointment (our staff will make this appointment for your child if needed).

If there are any additional lab tests or radiology studies that are needed, we will schedule those after your visit.


View a list of the experts who lead and work on our program.

Make an Appointment

If you would like to make an appointment with our team, please call 312.227.4210.

Prepare for Your Visit

If your child has previously had these tests, please gather the following information before your appointment. This will allow our team to get started on your child’s individualized plan right away.

  • Discharge summaries from hospitalizations
  • Lab work related to your child’s condition
  • Operative notes
  • Pathology reports
  • Radiology studies on a CD
    • Contrast enema
    • Abdominal films
    • Ultrasounds
    • MRIs
    • CT scans

Our office staff will be available to receive these reports and the CD. You can reach them at 312.227.4210.

If your child has not had these tests done, please do not schedule them on your own before coming to the appointment. Only obtain if your child has already had these tests performed at other facilities.

Related News & Stories

Blás is a Champ When it Comes to Bowel Management

Beth and Julian were excited to bring home their healthy baby boy, Blás, until their world came to a halt. Blás stopped eating a few hours after birth. His stomach became rock hard. Nurses flushed out his stomach until he spit up an alarming amount.

Cal Tackles Hirschsprung’s Disease with the Help of His Care Team

Sam and Kristen Conro knew something was wrong with their newborn within the first 48 hours of life. His belly was distended, he wasn’t eating, and he was sleeping more than expected. Sam and Kristen took Cal to their local hospital before being referred to Lurie Children’s.


Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children’s relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please e-mail the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at or call 312.227.7500