In life-threatening emergencies, find the emergency room location nearest you. For non-life-threatening medical needs when your pediatrician is unavailable, visit one of our convenient urgent care locations.
Hearing that your baby has an anorectal malformation can be frightening. Anorectal malformations are defects that occur during the fifth to seventh week of fetal development. An anorectal malformation is a condition in which the anus (opening at the end of the large intestine through which stool passes) and the rectum (area of the large intestine just above the anus) do not develop properly.
Some women may learn that their baby has an anorectal malformation like cloaca during pregnancy, and some may not find out until after their baby is born. These families share how they found out their baby had cloaca and how they handled the news.
What is cloaca?
Cloaca is a malformation that affects the rectum and urogenital tract in females. Females are normally born with three perineal openings: urethra, vagina and anus. Children born with a cloacal anomaly only have one opening because the urethra, vagina and rectum are joined together as a common channel instead of three separate ones. The length of the common channel may vary between 1 cm and 10 cm.
Short common channel (less than 3 cm in length)
Intermediate common channel (between 3 and 5 cm)
Long common channel (more than 5 cm)
Our surgical expertise
Our surgeons have specialized expertise in treating anorectal malformations, such as cloaca. Our team is led by Alberto Peña, MD, who transformed colorectal treatment by introducing the posterior sagittal anorectoplasty (PSARP), also known as the pull-through, procedure.