Atresia ani (imperforate anus) is a type of abnormality from birth. Children who experience this condition have impaired fetal development. This causes the rectum (the end of the large intestine) to form so that the anal canal has an imperfect shape. How to treat atresia ani is usually with surgery. Children who experience atresia ani also experience abnormalities in other parts of the body, for example, abnormalities in the digestive organs, urinary tract, and claiming. Some of these disorders can be divided into:
- Abnormalities at the lower level
The condition of the anal canal is narrowed or completely closed. This is because the intestines and rectum are still attached to the skin. A closed anal canal is usually accompanied by other birth defects, such as heart problems, problems with the central nervous system, and anomalies in the feet and hands.
- Abnormalities at the top level
The position of the large intestine in the upper pelvic cavity and the formation of a fistula that connects the rectum to the bladder, urethra, or vagina. Fistulas are abnormal tunnels that appear between two normal channels for example between blood vessels, intestines, and organs.
- Persistent posterior or cloaca opening
Abnormalities that cause the rectum, urinary tract, and vaginal opening to meet in the same channel.
Treatment for atresia ani depends on the severity of the case. The treatment is usually surgery. This operation is performed on most people with atresia ani. An operation is performed to open a closed hole. The suitable method will be chosen by the surgeon and depends on the baby’s condition, for example:
- Medicines: offer pain for example acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin)
- Colostomy: connects part of the intestine to an opening in the abdominal wall to expel waste into a sac outside the body
- Operation: to connect the anus and intestines if the intestine is not connected to the anus
- Angioplasty: move the anus to the right place if it has an abnormal connection in the intestines and urinary system
You can also choose how to treat atresia ani at home. The simplest way is to change your lifestyle. Furthermore, there are several steps that can be applied such as:
- After surgery: follow the doctor’s instructions for treating the wound.
For long term care:
- Routinely visit the doctor to find out about your child’s condition
- Changing the child’s diet, activity level, and toileting habits in children to reduce constipation
- Helping the child to learn how to use the new anus
- Using a device to stimulate the nerves in the intestine
- Get involved in managing a bowel management program
- Perform other operations to improve bowel control if needed
Examination methods that can be done to confirm a diagnosis of atresia ani are:
- Physical examination
Doctors can find cases of atresia ani when examining the condition of a newborn. The doctor will check the area around the baby’s genitals and bottom.
- Examination through X-rays and ultrasound
X-ray of the abdominal area (abdominal) to determine the location of atresia. For example, to find out the position of the end of the colon in the patient’s body. This test aims to ensure that appropriate treatment for people with atresia ani can be planned accordingly.
- MRI examination
This test aims to detect abnormalities in the spine, genital organs and pelvic muscles.
- Echocardiogram examination
This test aims to check for abnormalities in the heart that can also be found in people with atresia ani.
This test aims to check for any abnormalities in the intestine that people with atresia ani may experience.
This test aims to detect the presence of abnormalities in the urinary tract. This disorder can also be found in people with atresia ani.