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Alternative Names Return to topAnorectal malformation repair; Perineal anoplasty
Definition Return to top
Imperforate anus repair is surgery to correct birth defects involving the rectum and anus. An imperforate anus defect prevents little or no stool from passing out of the rectum.
See also: Imperforate anus
Description Return to top
This surgery repairs the defect so that stool can move through the rectum. If the baby has no anal opening at all, emergency surgery is needed.
The procedure is done under general anesthesia, which means the patient is asleep and feels no pain during the procedure.
Surgery depends on the type of imperforate anus defect.
For a high-type imperforate anus defect, the surgeon usually creates a temporary opening for the colon in the abdomen. This is called a colostomy. The baby is allowed to grow for several months before more complex repairs are attempted.
Surgery for a low-type imperforate anus involves closing any small tube-like openings (fistulas), creating an anal opening, and putting the rectal pouch into the anal opening.
For other related anal repairs, the surgeon makes a cut in the abdomen and loosens the colon from nearby structures. This allows the colon to be re-positioned. A cut in the anal area is made to pull the rectal pouch down into place and create an anal opening. A colostomy may be closed during this procedure, or may be left in place for a few more months and closed at a later stage.
A major challenge for these repairs is finding, using, or creating nearby nerve and muscle structures so that the child can move the bowels normally.
Why the Procedure is Performed Return to top
This surgery is done to repair an imperforate anus.
Risks Return to top
Risks for any anesthesia include:
After the Procedure Return to top
Most anorectal malformations can be corrected successfully with surgery. In most cases, patients recover with normal bowel function. The long-term outlook is excellent if the patient has no other pelvic problems.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
The child may spend several days in the hospital. The health care provider will use an instrument to dilate (stretch) the new anus to improve muscle tone and prevent narrowing -- this must be continued for several months. Use of stool softeners and a high-fiber diet are recommended throughout childhood.Update Date: 11/9/2007 Updated by: Deirdre O’Reilly, MD, MPH, Neonatologist, Division of Newborn Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston and Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.