Primary repair of an ARM takes place during the newborn period for certain types of malformations that do not require a colostomy as the first step. It helps to make sure that your baby's body has a way to process and dispose of waste.
The final or definitive repair, for those patients who need a colostomy first, which may take place several months after birth, goes beyond the baby's immediate needs to help your child have maximum function and health long-term. This future repair often involves reconstruction and more complicated surgery to give your child normal-looking anatomy and the most independent toileting abilities possible.
The surgery plan your baby receives will depend on the exact diagnosis and complexity of the ARM. In addition, boys and girls with ARM often have separate concerns and approaches.
The most common initial surgeries include colostomy and posterior sagittal anorectoplasty (PSARP) or "pull-through" procedure. The imaging and physical evaluation your baby received right after birth will determine which surgery is appropriate for your child.
Each surgical procedure for ARM is different. Once your baby's doctor decides which repair surgery is best for your baby, you can learn more about the specific operation and what to expect.