Children's Hospital Colorado

The Connection Journey: Cloaca



At 23 weeks of pregnancy, Sandy and Karsang found out their baby, Tashi, had cloaca, a type of anorectal malformation. Tashi was born early and needed a colostomy and drainage of fluid that was building up in her abdomen. Seven months later, she had reconstructive surgery. Now she is a vibrant 2-year-old.



Gabriela and Adrian found out their baby, Allison, would be born with cloaca when they were 26 weeks pregnant. After hearing this news, they were scared. Allison will soon have reconstructive surgery and they're worried about things like how much pain she'll be in. They don't know what to expect.


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Our pediatric experts can tell families a lot about their baby's anorectal malformation and the treatments to come. One thing they can't tell them: how they will feel.

That's why we've connected a family just diagnosed with an anorectal malformation with a family who's been there — to answer questions, to shed light and to offer hope — from diagnosis to surgery to recovery. These conversations heal. Watch them on the following pages.

The journey in stages

1. Diagnosis and treatment decisions

It's never easy to learn that your child will be born with a serious condition that requires surgery and life-long management. Learn how our families have managed their cloaca diagnosis and the journey that lies ahead.

2. Repair and treatment

Children born with cloaca will need several surgeries to treat the condition and reconstruct their anatomy. Our experienced family talks about their daughter's surgeries and how their family has managed through it all.

3. Living with cloaca

With the right treatment and support, children born with an anorectal malformation can lead healthy, productive lives. One family shares how this experience has made them all stronger and offers advice for other families about to go through their journey.

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Find a doctor

Browse and connect with world-class colorectal and urogenital surgeons at Children's Colorado.

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Meet more patients

Read inspiring stories about other patients born with an anorectal malformation and how they persevered.

See their stories
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Helpful resources

Our International Center for Colorectal and Urogenital Care is home to world-renowned surgeons, Alberto Peña, MD, and Andrea Bischoff, MD.

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Karsang talks about cloaca

"Watching Tashi grow up like any other normal baby – swinging, biking, swimming – feels wonderful. I don't take those things for granted at any given time."

Karsang, Tashi's father


Partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Children's Hospital Colorado partners with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where many of our physicians and care providers serve as faculty.