How are anorectal malformations treated or repaired?
Treatment recommendations will depend on the type of anorectal malformation, the presence and type of other health problems, and the child's overall health. However, most infants with an anorectal malformation will require surgery.
Why does my child need a colostomy?
Newborns diagnosed with anorectal malformations may require one or more operations to correct the malformation. Surgeons usually perform surgery to create a colostomy initially. This surgical procedure creates a stoma, an opening on the abdomen through which stool passes.
With a colostomy, the large intestine is divided into two sections, and the ends of the intestine are brought through small openings on the abdominal wall.
The upper section allows stool to pass through the stoma into a collection bag. The second, smaller stoma is called a mucus fistula. The purpose of the mucus fistula is to drain bowel secretions from the bottom portion of the stoma.
Our care team will help parents learn how to take care of the colostomy, and will help them make the transition from the hospital to home. Local and national support groups may also be very helpful. Ask your surgeon or nurse for resources that are available.