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Imperforate anus

Imperforate anus Causes

The malformations are caused by abnormal development of the fetus, and many are linked with other birth defects. Imperforate anus is a relatively widespread congenital malformation that occurs in about 1 out of 5,000 infants.

Imperforate anus Definition

An imperforate anus or anal atresia is a congenital defect in which the rectum is malformed.

Imperforate anus Diagnosis

When an infant is born with an anorectal malformation, it is usually seen quickly as it is a very obvious defect. Doctors will then determine the type of defect the child was born with and whether or not there are any linked malformations. It is imperative that the presence of any associated defects be detected during the newborn period in order to treat them early and avoid further sequelae.

Imperforate anus Symptoms and Signs

There are several forms of imperforate anus, one of which is a low lesion, in which the colon remains close to the skin. In this case, there may be a narrowing of the anus, or the anus may be missing altogether, with the rectum ending in a blind pouch. Another form is a high lesion, in which the colon is higher up in the pelvis and there is a fistula connecting the rectum and the bladder, urethra or the vagina. Also, there is a persistent cloaca (from the term cloaca, an analogous orifice in reptiles and amphibians), in which the rectum, vagina and colon are joined into a single channel.

Imperforate anus Treatment

Imperforate anus typically requires immediate surgery to open a passage for faeces. Depending on the severity of the imperforate, it is treated either with a colostomy or with a perineal anoplasty.

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