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Also known as: imperforate anus, anorectal malformations.
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.
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.
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.
Reviewed by: John M. Peters, DO
This page was last updated on: November 11, 2020 02:26 PM
Specialized treatment for children, adolescents and young adults with abnormalities affecting the colon, anus, rectum, urinary tract and genitals.
VATER syndrome refers to several birth defects that frequently occur in conjunction with one another. The letters stand for vertebrae, anus, trachea, esophagus and renal.
Anorectal malformation is a birth defect that adversely impacts the development of the anus and rectum. This can negatively affect or even prevent a baby from passing stools through the anus and rectum. Anorectal malformation repair is a surgical procedure to fix the problem.