Also known as: imperforate anus, anorectal malformations.
What is imperforated anus?
If a baby is born without an anus (the opening at the end of the digestive tract), then this birth defect is known as an imperforated anus. In most cases, the anus is missing entirely. In other cases, the anal opening can be in the wrong place or else is present but is too small to pass stools through. Additional abnormal connections can form between the intestine and urinary system, vagina or bladder.
What causes imperforated anus?
Researchers aren’t exactly sure why imperforated anus occurs. In some cases it seems to run in families, while in others it does not. It’s often present with other birth defects.
What are the symptoms of imperforated anus?
Aside from the missing anus, the most obvious concern is that the baby is not able to pass stools from the body. This can cause complications quickly if not corrected.
What are imperforated anus care options?
Surgery is required to repair imperforated anus. In some instances, an initial surgery is needed to reroute the intestines and channel waste to a colostomy bag. Then a second surgery can be done without risking infection.
Reviewed by: John M. Peters, DO
This page was last updated on: 2/5/2018 3:56:31 PM
Dr. Luis Caicedo is a pediatric gastroenterologist at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami.
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