May 1975

Rectovaginal Separation Operation After a "Cutback" Procedure for Anorectal Anomalies

Author Affiliations

From the departments of surgery and pediatrics, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago.

Arch Surg. 1975;110(5):471-475. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360110017004

The "cutback" procedure has been widely utilized over the past 25 years for correction of mild forms of ectopic anus encountered in newborn females.

As these children have become adolescents, some are troubled by the cosmetic appearance created by this procedure, recurrent urinary tract infections, and persistent vaginitis from continued fecal soiling.

The rectovaginal separation procedure described (1) separates the rectum from the vagina by interposing adjacent tissues, (2) elongates the rectal canal, and (3) utilizes flaps of perineal skin to gain a normal degree of separation of the anus from the vagina.

Five girls, ages 6 to 15 years, have undergone this procedure with a temporary loop colostomy to protect the perineum during healing. The long-term functional and cosmetic results three to seven years later have been excellent in four patients. The fifth girl has been observed only five months, but seems to have an excellent cosmetic result.