Diagnosis & Treatments for Imperforate Anus
Diagnosis of Imperforate Anus
Imperforate anus is typically diagnosed during a physical exam in the hospital completed shortly after your baby is born. From there, the doctor may order one or more of the following tests to confirm imperforate anus:
- Ultrasound. This imaging test uses sound waves to create detailed pictures of your child’s anal area.
- X-ray. This common imaging test uses radiation to create detailed pictures of the inside of your child’s abdomen and anal area.
Treatments for Imperforate Anus
If your child has an imperforate anus, they will need surgery to correct it. Your child may need one surgery or multiple surgeries, depending on their individual situation. If the anus is too small, surgery will involve widening the area. If it is in an unusual location, it will be redirected to the correct area. If the anus is missing completely, a hole will be created. Our surgeons use minimally invasive procedures whenever possible, meaning smaller incisions, less blood and a faster recovery than regular surgery.
Following surgery, your child may need a temporary colostomy bag. This device connects the large intestine to the abdominal wall and collects stool in a bag outside the body. After a few months, they may have another surgery to remove their colostomy so that your child should be able to pass stool normally.
Your child may need to use the following home-based strategies to help manage problems related to imperforate anus.
Early postoperative care:
- Anal dilations. The surgical team will teach you how to perform dilations at home to prevent scar formation at the surgery site for the first few months after surgery
- Diaper care. Your child may experience irritation of their bottom and will need gentle care with non-fragrant barrier wipes, Zinc-based diaper cream with every diaper change, and water spritzes to rinse the area when changing diapers.
Early childhood care:
- Attend a bowel program. Working with gastroenterologists helps your child gain control of their bowels and pass stool normally.
- Eat a high-fiber diet. Eating foods rich in fiber can help soften your child’s stool making it easier to pass.
- Take stool softeners or use enemas, as needed. Taking over-the-counter stool softeners may make bowel movements easier to pass. An enema (injecting fluid through the rectum to clean out the colon) may also help.
Contact an Orlando Health doctor
If you suspect that your child may have an imperforate anus, make an appointment with an Orlando Health pediatrician today so your child can start on the road to improved health.