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

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Pediatric Surgery




Anorectal malformation; Fecal continence; Imperforate anus; Incontinence; PSARP; Redo posterior sagittal anorectoplasty


© 2020 Elsevier Inc. 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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