Possible Newborn Health Problems
Gastro-intestinal Tract Disorders
Unusual Blood Results
Imperforate anus occurs when there is growth
of skin over the anus and faeces cannot pass in the usual way.
Imperforate anus consists of
Incomplete development of the rectum;
the rectum ends too soon, either
Just before the anus, among the pelvic
nerve and muscle structures ("low type" imperforate
Above the pelvic nerve and muscle structures
("high type" imperforate anus)
Unusual anal opening
no anal opening so no faeces can pass,
a very small fistula (channel) from
the bowel to the skin, vagina or urethra so a small amount of
faeces can pass in an unusual way
Sometimes associated problems in other parts
of the body, especially the urinary tract.
With a high type imperforate anus, over half
of babies will also have a urinary tract problem, this is not
so common with a low type imperforate anus.
Usually imperforate anus is found immediately
after birth when the lack of an anal opening is noticed.
Babies with imperforate anus need
a tube into the stomach
a heart echo
to be in a paediatric surgery centre
An x-ray and ultra-sound of the abdomen
to show whether it is a high or low lesion and whether there
are any problems with the urinary tract or spinal cord.
Surgery for imperforate anus is always needed
within the newborn period.
Surgery for the low type imperforate anus, involves one operation
closes any fistula,
creates an anal opening, and
joins the rectum to the anal opening.
Surgery for a high type imperforate anus defect
usually involves two or three operations;
creates a temporary colostomy; the
colon is brought out to the surface of the abdomen so that faeces
can be expelled.
The baby is allowed to grow for several months
anal repair with a pull-through operation
- creates an anal opening, and
- joins the rectum to the anal opening; the rectum is "pulled
- colostomy may be closed
colostomy is closed if not closed in
After the operation, the baby will need a
few days in the neo-natal intensive care unit, then a few weeks
in hospital until feeding is going well and there are no other
Further operations will be in the paediatric
department of the hospital.
After surgery the child will continue to have
check-ups with the paediatric surgeon to check that the child
has no intestinal problems and when older to check the child
is gaining good bowel control