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Caring for your child after surgery for anorectal malformation

After surgical care for anorectal malformation is also known as anal dilation or post-surgical care anorectal malformation.

What are important things to know after my child has surgery for anorectal malformation?


If your child has a colostomy, it is usually closed 2 to 3 months after the anorectal malformation surgery to create a new anal opening has occurred, this is usually performed while they are still in the hospital.

Do I want my child’s stool to be loose after anorectal malformation surgery?

  • Your child may have more liquid stools after surgery to avoid constipation
  • Good skin care during this time after surgery is important
  • You will work with your pediatric colorectal surgeon and multidisciplinary team to get timed and bulky stools that avoid constipation as your child works towards toilet training

What do I do about diaper rash after this surgery?

We work closely with the Wound care team and instruct families about how to prevent and treat diaper rash.

Do I have to do any special care to the newly created anal opening?

Some families are instructed to perform dilations a few weeks after surgery. Many times after surgery, the body wants to close a surgical wound so it will heal which is why you may be asked to perform this for your child.

Your doctor will instruct you if your child will need to have dilations performed after surgery.

The Comprehensive Colorectal Center at Children's Mercy

Discussion of surgical and management options are best done with the help of a multidisciplinary team such as the one available at the Comprehensive Colorectal Center at Children's Mercy.

Contact us at (816) 234-3151 to learn more about the services we can offer you and your child.