What is Anal Atresia?
Anal Atresia is one type of birth defect or disorder. In this condition, the development of the fetus is impaired so that the rectal form (the final part of the large intestine) to the anus hole is generally not perfect.
Anal Atresia usually includes abnormalities in other areas of the body, including abnormalities that occur in the digestive organs, urinary tract, to genital. The level of anomalies that occur also vary and is generally categorized as follows:
- Abnormalities at lower levels. Form of anus holes that narrow or completely closed due to rectal intestine that is still attached to the skin. The closed anus hole is usually accompanied by other birth defects, such as heart problems, central nervous system problems, or anomalies of the hands and feet.
- Abnormalities at the top level. The position of the large intestine located in the upper pelvic cavity and the formation of fistulas connecting the rectum and bladder, urethra, or vagina. Fistulas are abnormal tunnels that appear between two normal channels such as between blood vessels, intestines, or body organs.
- Persistent posterior or cloacal holes. In this disorder, the rectum, urinary tract, and vaginal opening meet on the same channel.
Causes and Risk Factors of Anal Atresia
Under normal conditions, the anal canal, urinary tract, and genitals are formed at eight weeks’ gestation through the process of cleavage and separation of fetal digestive walls. Disorders during this fetal development will trigger Anal atresia.
The cause behind these developmental disorders is not yet known for certain. Experts suspect that hereditary or genetic factors may have a major effect behind the occurrence of this birth defect.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Anal Atresia
Anal Atresia can be diagnosed by ultrasound, but it is commonly known at the first physical examination performed when the baby is born. The doctor will examine the stomach, genitalia, anal canal, and spine of each newborn baby. If there are abnormalities in these parts, the doctor will then confirm whether there are other types of birth defects that are also experienced by the baby.
Early examination is needed for immediate treatment. The type of procedure the doctor chooses depends on the type and severity of the birth defect experienced by the baby. Infant health conditions will also be a major factor considered.
Infants who do not have an anal canal will be fed intravenously. If there is a fistula formed on the urinary tract, the doctor will suggest the use of antibiotics.
Most of the closed anus holes require immediate surgery to form sewerage for dirt. However, this operation has a high degree of difficulty because the position of the organ that is disturbed lies deep in the pelvis. Not to mention the baby’s age factor is very young so that the risk of complications also increased.
After undergoing surgery of anal anus formation, the most common complication is constipation or fecal incontinence. To overcome this, the diet of pediatric patients should be carefully guarded. One way is to eat lots of fiber, such as vegetables and fruit. Foods that contain natural laxatives, for example dairy products, can also be used. In addition to natural ways, patients can also be advised to use laxatives or laxatives as well as fiber-containing supplements.
Complications of Anal Atresia
Some complications can occur during surgery. If there is a fistula associated with the gastrointestinal tract, surgical action may injure the normal gastrointestinal wall. The operation of making an anal replacement pit (colostomy) also contains the risk of contaminating the urinary tract so that the risk of infection of the urinary organs increases.
Stenosis (narrowing) in artificial anus can also occur when the skin of a patient has a tendency to form keloid (scar tissue). This condition requires repairs by operation.