Single-Stage Surgical Correction of Anorectal Malformation Associated with Rectourinary Fistula in Male Neonates

Ernesto Leva, Francesco Macchini, Rossella Arnoldi, Antonio Di Cesare, Valerio Gentilino, Monica Fumagalli, Fabio Mosca, Akbar Bhuiyan, Maurizio Torricelli, Tahmina Banu


Introduction: The treatment of children affected by anorectal malformations (ARM) is characterized by some unsolved problems. The three-stage surgical correction has been known to be most effective in preventing complications, but recently new approaches have been proposed. We describe our experience with the newer approaches.

Methods: Twenty three male newborns, affected by ARM and recto-urinary fistula, were treated in 2 different centers in 8 years. Nineteen neonates (birth weight 2.4 - 3.5 kg) received a primary posterior sagittal anorectoplasty (PSARP) at the Department of Pediatric Surgery of the Chittagong Medical College Hospital (group 1). Four term neonates (birth weight 2.9 - 3.4 kg) received a primary pull-through with combined abdomino-perineal approach at the Pediatric Surgery Department of Fondazione Cà Granda of Milan (group 2).

Results: Among patients of Group 1, 11 patients had a recto-bulbar fistula and 8 a recto-prostatic fistula. Among the Group 2, 2 had a recto-bulbar fistula and 2 a recto-prostatic fistula. The site of fistula was decided at the time of surgery. In Group 1, 5 post-surgical complications were recorded (26%); 1 child died of sepsis, 3 had dehiscence and 1 stenosis, which resolved with dilatation. In Group 2, the only post-operative complication of small rectal prolapse resolved spontaneously after a few months on follow-up. Group 2 patients were followed-up in a dedicated multidisciplinary colorectal center.

Conclusions: Primary repair of ARMs with recto-urinary fistula is a feasible, safe and effective technique in the neonatal period. A combined abdominal and perineal approach seems to guarantee better results. A dedicated team is mandatory, both for the surgical correction and for a long-term follow-up.


Anorectal malformation, Primary repair, Recto-urinary fistula

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