Types of Anal Malformations

Doctors will typically classify malformations based on where the rectum (the lower part of the intestine) ends within the abdomen, and if there is a fistula – an abnormal channel that develops between organs that can cause stool to pass through or into parts of the abdomen.

Typically, lower malformation types can be repaired with one surgery, and children can be expected to recover good bowel control. Children with higher types require more procedures, such as a colostomy at first, with reconstruction at 3 to 6 months, and will typically have more challenges gaining bowel control.

Specific Types of Malformations

Some of the malformations listed below may appear by themselves, or in combination:

Malformations found in both males and females:

  • imperforate anus without fistula – the anal opening is missing or in the wrong place
  • rectal atresia and stenosis –the anus or rectum is too small to allow stool to pass
  • rectoperineal fistula –the rectum connects to the perineum, an area of skin between the anus and genitals

Malformations found in males:

  • rectobulbar urethral fistula and rectoprostatic urethral fistula  - the rectum connects directly into the urethra.
  • rectobladder neck fistula – the rectum connects to the bottom of the bladder, where the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body through the genitals) begins

Malformations found in females:

  • rectovestibular fistula  - the rectum connects to just outside of the vagina
  • cloaca –the vagina, rectum and urinary tract are combined into a single channel

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