Facts About Anal Atresia / Imperforate Anus
Anal Atresia, otherwise known as imperforate anus, is a birth defect that affects the anus (the exterior opening from the bowel to the outside of the body) of an infant. Anal Atresia occurs when the anus is abnormally dilated or constricted, positioned abnormally, or when a fistula (crack or channel) is present that empties the colon into the bladder, vagina or urethra. Sometimes the anal opening is missing altogether.
It is estimated that 1 in 20,000 live births have anal atresia.
Anal Atresia / Imperforate Anus Challenges
- Some children, but not all, will have a greater challenge becoming potty-trained. Part of the surgical treatment plan for children is to further teach them to learn bowel control.
- A diet high in fiber may be needed.
Anal Atresia / Imperforate Anus Treatment
- In almost all cases, surgery will be needed. Surgery is used to reconnect the abnormal bowel, create an anal opening, dilate a constricted anus or create a colostomy. The procedure needed will depend on the specific condition of each child.
- The outcome for children born with these challenges is excellent. Many children have found families and the support and love that they need to overcome this birth defect.