Urologic injuries associated with repair of anorectal malformations in male patients

J Pediatr Surg. 2002 Mar;37(3):339-44. doi: 10.1053/jpsu.2002.30810.


Background/purpose: Serious injuries to the urinary tract may occur during the repair of an anorectal malformation, especially in boys. This review of a large series of patients characterizes factors that may either lead to, or prevent, those injuries.

Methods: A retrospective review of 1,003 boys with anorectal malformations was performed.

Results: A total of 129 injuries in 1,003 patients were identified. Five hundred seventy-two of the 1,003 patients (group A) underwent definitive repair at the authors' institution. In this group, there were 19 urologic injuries; 1 bladder perforation, 1 divided ureter, 2 divided vas defera, 1 prostatic injury, 7 seminal vesicles were opened and closed, and in 7 cases, the urethra was opened and closed during the repair. Follow-up ranges from 15 years to 1 month and no late sequelae have been observed. The second group (B) consisted of 431 patients who underwent various operations at other institutions. In this group, 110 urologic injuries in 97 patients were noted. These included neurogenic bladder (n = 27), persistent, recurrent or acquired recto-urethral fistulae (n = 30), posterior urethral diverticulae that required reoperation (n = 23), urethral injuries leading to stenosis or acquired atresia (n = 19), pull-through of major urinary structures (n = 2), injured ureter (n = 1), opened seminal vesicle (n = 1), divided vas defera (n = 4), impotence (n = 1), and loss of ejaculation (n = 2). Several significant associations were noted. The most significant was that all 27 patients with neurogenic bladder and all 19 of those in group B with urethral injuries did not undergo a distal colostogram to define the level of the fistula before repair. Posterior urethral diverticulae were seen only in cases of recto-bulbar urethral fistulae repaired via an abdominal-perineal approach.

Conclusions: Significant urologic injuries are associated with the repair of anorectal malformations. The risk of injury is increased in those patients who undergo repair without a distal colostogram.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anal Canal / abnormalities*
  • Anal Canal / surgery*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystoscopy / methods
  • Genitalia, Male / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intraoperative Complications / surgery*
  • Male
  • Rectum / abnormalities*
  • Rectum / surgery*
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies