The failed anoplasty: successful outcome after reoperative anoplasty and sigmoid resection

R L Moss
Journal of Pediatric Surgery 1998, 33 (7): 1145-7; discussion 1147-8

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Children with anorectal malformations often have less than optimal results after repair. The authors report on five patients (ages 3 to 17 years) born with imperforate anus and treated with anoplasty as a newborn. At presentation, all patients were completely incontinent of stool. None had ever experienced voluntary bowel movements, and all wore diapers continuously.

METHODS: Perineal examination with the nerve stimulator showed the muscle complex was largely intact with good contraction, but the neoanus was outside of the muscle complex. Contrast enema showed massive dilation of the rectosigmoid colon and fecal impaction. A tethered spinal cord was excluded by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We treated these patients with a combined reoperative anoplasty via the posterior sagittal approach and sigmoid resection.

RESULTS: Within 6 months after the procedure, all patients had achieved complete continence. They had from one to three voluntary bowel movements per day without soiling.

CONCLUSIONS: Children with severe constipation and fecal incontinence after anoplasty should undergo evaluation by a surgeon. If examination shows a reasonably intact muscle complex and correctable anatomic defects, an excellent result can be achieved with appropriate reoperation.

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