ARM Anorectal malformation

Anorectal malformation or ARM in abbreviated medical terms is also commonly known as imperforate anus or anorectal anomaly in which the anal opening is not in its normal position or fails to manifest.

­Visual examination of newborns is the easiest way to diagnose this condition. These malformations occur once per the approximate range between 3000 and 5000 live births. Newborn males have a more common occurrence of chronic ARM malformations whereas female newborns have more acute ARMs.

Thought to be mostly a congenital condition, the birth defect is a failure of the rectum and anus to detach from the urinary and reproductive systems during fetal development when the anus and rectum. Recent studies have shown a genetic factor at play in families with a hereditary history of the defect occurring. No other factors have been identified as of yet.

Four types of anorectal malformations have been created to help assist with the diagnosis and treatment of each individually.

The most common anorectal malformation is anal stenosis and is an abnormally narrow anal opening. Atresia is a congenital condition in which any bodily opening is nonexistent or closed.

The second type is membranous anal atresia is called a low ARM where a thin tissue membrane covers the anal opening.

Anal agenesis/atresia is the third type of ARM (intermediate ARM) more common in female newborns. The anal entrance is partially covered by a piece of skin leaving a very tiny slit for an opening.

Anorectal agenesis/atresia (high ARM) affects both the anal and rectal tract in which the opening is entirely sealed up so they cannot poop at all. Fecal matter backs up into the large intestine causing bodily failure.

Surgical treatment varies based on the severity of the anorectal malformation. Plastic surgery called anoplasty can create a new anal opening if one does not already exist, can widen a narrow opening, or remove a membrane covering an anal entryway. Complete rectal reconstruction is required where the anorectal system is linked by an internal opening into the urinary tract. Sometimes surgical treatment involves relocating the anal and rectal area into their normal position. All of this is one very crappy experience for those having to go through it.

It is not uncommon in ARMs for nerves to unsuccessfully register when it is time to have a bowel movement causing fecal matter impaction or feces to simple dribble out of the nonfunctional anal opening known as fecal incontinence. Further nerve damage frequently results from the anoplasty surgeries where a special nutritional diet plan is developed for the digestive system to work properly.­

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