Assessing the benefit of reoperations in patients who suffer from fecal incontinence after repair of their anorectal malformation

Pediatr Surg. 2020 Jun 17;S0022-3468(20)30423-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2020.06.011.Online ahead of print.

Richard J Wood 1, Devin R Halleran 2, Hira Ahmad 2, Alejandra Vilanova-Sanchez 2, Rebecca M Rentea 2, Patrick Stallings 2, Nisha Ganesh 2, Alessandra Gasior 2, Marc A Levitt 2


Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatric Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH. Electronic address: richard.wood@nationwidechildrens.org.
  • 2Department of Pediatric Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH.


Background and aim: Patients with a previously repaired anorectal malformation (ARM) can suffer from complications which lead to incontinence. Reoperation can improve the anatomic result, but its impact on functional outcomes is unclear.

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients with a previously repaired ARM who underwent redo PSARP at our Center and compared results at initial assessment and 12 months after redo.

Results: One hundred fifty-three patients underwent a redo PSARP for anoplasty mislocation (n=93, 61%), stricture (n=55, 36%), remnant of the original fistula (n=28, 18%), or rectal prolapse (n=11, 7%). Post-redo complications included stricture (n=33, 22%) and dehiscence (n=5, 3%). At 1-year post-redo, 75/153 (49%) are on laxatives only, of whom 57 (76%) are continent of stool. Of the remaining 78 (51%) patients, 61 (78%) are clean (≤1 accident per week) on enemas. Interestingly, 16/79 (20%) of patients with expected poor continence potential were continent of stool on laxatives. Overall, 118/153 (77%) are clean after their redo. Quality of life (76.7 vs. 83.8, p=0.05) and Baylor continence (29.2 vs. 17.7, p=<0.0001) scores improved.

Conclusion: Patients with fecal incontinence after an ARM repair can, with a reoperation, have their anatomy corrected which can restore continence for many, and improve their quality of life.

Level of evidence: IV.

Type of study: Retrospective cohort study.

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