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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-assisted laparoscopic anorectoplasty for imperforate anus: a single center experience.

PURPOSE: Surgical procedures for high imperforate anus have ranged from the posterior sagittal anorectoplasty (PSARP) to laparoscopic-assisted anorectoplasty (LAARP). PSARP bisects the sphincter muscle complex, introducing muscle injury and scarring. LAARP uses a straight trocar to traverse an often non-linear sphincter muscle complex. MRI-assisted LAARP (MRI-LAARP) guides the neorectum precisely through the middle of the entire sphincter complex along its trajectory. We present our experience utilizing MRI intraoperatively during LAARP.

METHODS/PROCEDURE: Ten children underwent MRI-LAARP procedures. Intraoperative MRI was performed to delineate the sphincter complex, and to guide the advancement of an MRI-compatible needle through the center of the complex from skin to the peritoneal cavity. The remainder of the procedure was completed using the standard LAARP technique.

RESULTS: All had successful MRI needle placement through the sphincter complex. Nine patients had successful laparoscopic pull-through procedures; one was converted to open due to severe intraperitoneal adhesions. Postoperative stay averaged 5.4 ± 4.4 days. Out of the ten patients, one child had mild dehiscence of the anal anastomosis requiring revision 11 days postoperatively.

CONCLUSION: The theoretical advantage of the MRI-LAARP is placing the neorectum through the entire sphincter complex without transecting the muscle. Follow-up of these patients shows good short-term results; however, long-term follow-up will be needed to best assess sphincter and bowel function.

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