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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 67-71

Constipation after surgery for anorectal malformations: Unrecognised problem until it is a problem


1 Department of Pediatric Surgical Superspecialties, Sanjay Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Sanjay Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Biostatics, Sanjay Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Basant Kumar
Department of Pediatric Surgical Superspecialties, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Raibareli Road, Lucknow - 226 014, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ajps.AJPS_63_20

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Background: Constipation is a common problem after surgery for anorectal malformations (ARMs), especially in patients having preserved rectosigmoid after pull-down surgery. Here, we present our experience with patients having constipation after surgery for ARMs and briefly discuss its management. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed electronic operative and follow-up data from January 2015 to December 2019 of all patients having constipation after surgery for ARMs. Results: A total of 77 patients were included in the study. The median age was 60 months, and thirty patients were male. Primary diagnoses were rectourethral fistula (26; 33.77%), vestibular fistula (25; 32.47%), perineal fistula/ectopic anus (18; 23.38%), rectovaginal fistula (4; 5.19%) and imperforate anus without fistula (4; 5.19%). Anal stenosis was found in 20 (25.97%) patients, posterior ledge with an adequate anal opening in 5 (6.49%), displaced anus in 4 (5.19%) but no obvious problem found in 48 (62.34%) patients. Non-operative management was successful in 75.44% (43 out of 57) of patients. Surgery was performed in 32 out of 77 patients (41.56%) with no mortality. Forty-three (72.88%) patients are continent, stayed clean, but 16 (27.19%) patients still need some sort of laxative/bowel wash/enema intermittently (Grade I/II constipation). Incidence of constipation was higher in patients operated through anterior sagittal route (27.58%) than posterior sagittal route (23.94%), but it was not statistically significant (P = 0.479). Follow-up ranged from 3 months to 5 years. Conclusion: Constipation is a common problem after ARMs surgery, especially in patients having preserved rectosigmoid after pull-down surgery. It is advisable to create relatively larger neoanus after pull through with early practice of neoanus dilatation, especially in redo cases. Repeated counselling, laxatives and dietary manipulations should begin at the first sign of constipation.


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