Atresia ani is a disorder or congenital defect that is rare and occurs. This disease is characterized by the absence of the anus or the location of the anus that is not in its proper place. When the fetus is still developing, the baby’s digestive tract will also experience development. If there is an error, the baby’s gastrointestinal tract cannot form normally.
In some cases, developmental disorders can cause atresia ani. In this case, the colon can be connected via a tube to the bladder. Symptoms of atresia ani can vary from one baby to another. Some of the symptoms that usually occur include:
- There is no anus or anus location that is not as usual.
- Swollen stomach. Babies who suffer from this disease, cannot defecate for 24 – 48 hours
- Babies do not have anal openings.
- In baby girls, the anal opening is in the wrong place, such as too close to the vagina.
- Stool passes through the wrong place, such as the urethra, vagina, scrotum, or the base of the penis.
- Other infections.
Based on several studies, atresia ani can occur in one in 1 in 5000 babies. This disease is also more common in male babies than female babies. Cases of atresia ani are very diverse. The severity depends on:
- The length of the baby’s digestive tract.
The abnormality will be easier to treat with surgical procedures if the rectum is almost close to its normal anal position.
- The effect of atresia ani on the surrounding muscles.
- The end position of the rectal canal.
If it is not where it should be (for example connected to the vagina or penis), this condition requires surgical treatment.
If not treated properly, complications of atresia ani can occur. For example, being unable to hold back bowel movements and urination, and the appearance of other infections.
Causes of Atresia Ani
Babies with normal conditions, urinary tract, anal canal, and genitals will form when gestational age enters eight weeks. This occurs through the process of division and separation of the digestive walls of the fetus. However, if there is interference during fetal development, this condition can lead to atresia ani. It is not certain what causes atresia ani but allegations by medical experts are due to genetics or heredity.
Complications of Atresia Ani
Some of the complications or disturbances that occur during surgery are related to the digestive tract. For example, an anal replacement surgery (colostomy) can increase the risk of infection of the urinary organs. Complications or disorders that can occur are stenoses (narrowing) in the artificial anal canal. This occurs when the patient’s skin has a tendency to form keloids (scar tissue). This situation also requires repair again with surgery or surgery.
Atresia Ani Treatment
For the treatment of atresia ani, the early examination is recommended to be done to overcome the existing symptoms of atresia ani. The procedure to be chosen will be considered by the doctor according to the baby’s health condition. Babies who do not have an anal canal will be fed intravenously. If there is a fistula (an abnormal tunnel that appears between two normal channels such as between blood vessels, intestines, or body organs) the doctor will recommend using antibiotics.
Most cases of closed anal canal require immediate surgery. This is because sewage is needed. But surgery to treat atresia ani is not easy and has a high degree of difficulty because the position of the affected organ is deep in the pelvis. The factor of babies who are still in a weak condition also makes it difficult for surgical procedures. This causes the risk of experiencing complications also increases.