St Mary’s Hospital Lacor has called upon the public to prepare for an upcoming surgical camp where a team of Paediatric surgeons will be addressing a number of health complications among children.
According to a statement from the hospital, the categories of children who will be the primary focus include those born without an anus/ Anorectal Malformation.
Also, those needed are children with a very narrow anal opening, as well as those with chronic constipation.
Children who also pass stool through an opening on the abdomen will also be a target of the surgical camp.
“Registration is ongoing in Surgical Outpatient Department (SOPD) every Tuesday and Friday. Patients will be reviewed starting Sunday, Feb 28th, and Operation will start March 1st to 6th March 2021,” the statement from the hospital reads in part.
The hospital will also accordingly offer all these services at no cost from the patients.
What are anorectal malformations?
Anorectal malformations are birth defects or problems that happen as an unborn baby is developing during pregnancy. With this defect, the anus and rectum don’t develop properly. They are the lower part of the digestive tract.
Normally during a bowel movement, stool passes from the large intestine to the rectum and then to the anus. Muscles in the anal area help to control when you have a bowel movement. Nerves in the area help the muscles sense the need for a bowel movement. The nerves also stimulate muscle activity.
With an anorectal malformation, several problems can occur. These include:
- The anal passage may be narrow.
- The anal opening may be covered with a tissue or membrane.
- The rectum may not connect to the anus.
- The rectum may connect to the part of the urinary tract or the reproductive system. This happens through a passage called a fistula.
Anorectal malformations cause problems with how a child has a bowel movement. Treatment depends on which type of problem your baby has.
What causes an anorectal malformation in a child?
As an unborn baby is growing in its mother’s womb or uterus, different organ systems are developing and maturing. The lower end of the intestinal tract forms fairly early in pregnancy.
In an unborn baby, the lower part of the large intestine and the urinary tract start off as one large mass of cells. Certain steps must happen in the first 3 months of pregnancy or gestation. These steps are needed for the rectum and anus to break away from the urinary tract and form properly. Sometimes these steps don’t happen as they should. Then the rectum or anus may not develop normally. In most cases, it’s not known what causes this to happen.
What are the symptoms of an anorectal malformation in a child?
Anorectal malformations cause problems with how a child has a bowel movement. Most anorectal malformations are found before a newborn leaves the hospital. If the problem is not found in the hospital, symptoms may include:
- Lack of stool
- Stool coming from the vagina
- Stool in the urine
- Urine coming from the anus
- Trouble having a bowel movement, or constipation