Atresia ani (imperforate anus) is a birth defect where this condition occurs when pregnancy enters 5-7 weeks. At this time, the development of the rectum (the end of the large intestine) until the anal canal is not complete. This disease affects 1 in 5,000 babies and must get prompt treatment. Some of the conditions experienced by babies with atresia ani, namely:
- The rectum is not connected to the large intestine
- The anal canal is narrowed or completely closed
- There is a fistula (the tube that connects the rectum to the bladder, urethra, base of the penis, or vagina)
In babies who are growing and developing normally, the urinary tract, anal canal, and genitals are formed at eight weeks of gestation. This condition occurs through the process of division and separation of the digestive walls of the fetus. Meanwhile, in babies who experience disturbances during the growth and development process in the fetus, this can cause atresia ani. The cause of atresia ani is not known with certainty, but medical experts claim that this disease can occur due to genetics and heredity.
The cause of atresia ani can also be due to anatomical development. This disorder can occur when the baby is in the womb. There are things – things that can trigger developmental disorders, but the cause is not certain. Some of the following conditions can pose a greater risk factor for developing atresia ani:
- Certain environmental factors
- Heredity or genetics (gene mutation)
Atresia ani can take many forms, for example:
- The rectal tract is not connected to the large intestine.
- There is narrowing or stenosis in the anus.
- The rectum has a duct that is not normal, such as the connection in the vagina and penis.
In some cases, babies who experience atresia ani can also experience several other problems such as:
- Disorders in the spine
- Heart defects
- Problems in the legs and arms
- Kidney and bladder disorders
- Problems in the windpipe (trachea)
- Abnormalities in the esophagus (esophagus)
Most cases of atresia ani are treated with surgical procedures. Starting from the procedure to enlarge or repair the position of the anus, to the formation of an adequate anal canal for sufferers.
Surgical procedures are usually performed in the first few days after the baby is born. But sometimes surgery is not done right away. Before undergoing a surgical procedure, a colostomy procedure is also needed. In this procedure, the doctor will make two small openings to connect the end of the digestive tract to the abdominal wall.
This way, the dirt can be collected in a bag. This bag will stick to the outside of the patient’s body and function to accommodate the waste that comes out of the body.
Atresia ani is mild
For babies who have mild atresia ani, surgical procedures can be chosen as a good solution. However, this operation on the other hand can still cause digestive problems such as constipation.
Medium stage atresia ani
For babies with more severe atresia ani, this baby requires more complicated surgical procedures. This method is usually accompanied by a series of additional treatments, for example:
- Eat foods with lots of fiber
- Using a stool softener
Severe atresia ani
For babies who have severe atresia ani, the baby may need more surgical procedures or surgery.