Anorectal Malformation in Children

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Anorectal malformations are birth defects where the anus and rectum (the lower end of the digestive tract) do not develop properly.

During a bowel movement, stool passes from the large intestine to the rectum and then to the anus. Muscles in the anal area help to control when a bowel movement occurs. Nerves in the area help the individual sense the need for a bowel movement and also stimulate muscle activity.

With an anorectal malformation, several abnormalities can occur, including the following: The anal passage may be narrow.

  • A membrane may be present over the anal opening.
  • The rectum may not connect to the anus (imperforate anus).
  • The rectum may connect to a part of the urinary tract or the reproductive system through an abnormal passage called a fistula.

Anorectal malformation

A comprehensive level of care

Anorectal malformations can be complex issues. The General Surgery Program at Boston Children's Hospital evaluates and treats infants afflicted with these types of birth defects.

Using state-of-the-art operative methods-including open procedures, minimally invasive surgery, and endoscopic techniques-we strive to improve the quality of life for each child entrusted to our care.

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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