[Quality of life in children operated on for anal atresia].

Cirugia pediatrica : organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Cirugia Pediatrica

PubMedID: 20578572

Molina ME, Lema A, Palacios MG, Somoza I, Gómez Veiras J, Tellado MG, Pais E, Dargallo T, Vela D. [Quality of life in children operated on for anal atresia]. Cir Pediatr. 2010;23(1):19-23.
Most children with anorectal malformations have some type of intestinal dysfunction. A correct follow up in this aspect after surgery affects their quality of life.

We gathered a sample of 20 children that were lost in their follow up after posterior sagittal anorectoplasty (PSARP). We got contact with them and they were interviewed and examined in our department.

We collected 12 girls and 8 boys. Age range was between 3 and 14 years. 70% had good prognosis for continence (low fistula) and 30% poor prognosis (high fistula). 35% suffered from postoperative complications being the most frequent prolapse especially in high atresias. 85% had good rectal sensitivity, 15% had poor sensitivity that was directly related to incontinence. Anal tone was decreased in our exploration in 35% of patients which was not directly related to their continence. 65% suffered constipation with or without fecaloma. 5% of cases had intestinal hipermotility. The total incidence of fecal loose was 40%. More than a half (62,5%) kept on loosing stool despite treating their constipation or hipermotility, so we consider them true incontinents (no voluntary bowel movements). 67% of children with high fistula were true incontinents, just 7% of those with low fistula. Subjective quality of life in patients with soling was 6.4. In clean patients it was 9.3. Objective quality of life (Score/13) in dirty patients was 6.6. In Clean patients: 11.9. After our bowel management protocol we got 100% of patients clean during school time, thereby improving their quality of life.

Incontinence determines the long-term quality of life in our patients in addition to the psycho-social consequences. They are clearly more frequent in patients with high fistula. Much assume incontinence as an unavoidable part of their disease so do not always demand treatment if they are not followed by a surgeon.