Anorectal atresia, also known as imperforate anus, is a birth defect of the anus that may require surgery to allow feces to pass out of the body. There is no known cause for the condition, but immediate care may be required to open the rectum within the first 24 hours after birth.
The prognosis for most children with Anorectal atresia is good. In some cases, constipation is a recurring problem that can be treated with proper diet and care from a gastro-intestinal physician. In other cases, multiple surgeries may be needed to decrease the angle between the rectum and anus to allow feces to pass more easily of the body.
The three most common types of Anorectal atresia are low lesion, high lesion and persistent cloaca. A low lesion presents with the colon remaining close to the skin. A high lesion is characterized as the colon being higher up in the pelvis. Persistent cloaca is a bonding of the vagina, urethra and rectum into one canal.