Anal Atresia

Narrowing of the anus or an obstruction occurring in the anal canal is referred to as anal atresia

Anal atresia impedes the passage of stool out of the body. Alternate channels called fistula are often present along with anal atresia. These fistulas may connect the anus to the urethra, or the urinary bladder, or to the vagina in female infants. Sometimes the fistula may open to the outside in the area between the anus and the urethra known as perineum.

When anal atresia is present, the newborn is unable to have normal bowel movements after birth. As the fecal matter accumulates in the digestive tract, intestinal obstruction develops. But, anal atresia is often detected during the physical examination of the infant immediately after birth, and usually well before the symptoms begin to appear.

Anal atresia is a birth defect which requires emergency surgical intervention. X-rays can show the abnormal channels or fistulas, if any. Anal obstructions are opened up during the surgery and the fistulas are closed at the same time. Sometimes, the stool is rerouted to a temporary opening created on the abdominal wall and attaching the colon to it. This surgical procedure is known as colostomy. The stool is collected in a plastic bag attached to the opening till another surgery is performed to reattach the colon to the anus.

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Yasser Elnahas

MD, PHD, Professor Of CardioVascular Surgery
Dr. Yasser Elnahas, Is an associate Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Elnahas was trained as a fellow At Texas Heart Institute And Mayo Clinic Foundation.Dr. Elnahas is dedicated to educating the general public about different disease conditions and simplifying the medical knowledge in an easy to understand terminology.

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