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Hospital Course and outcome for patients with Anorectal malformations (Bucket-handle deformity), a 3-year experience from Khartoum north teaching hospital (2016 -2019)

Author(s): Mohamed Abdulkarim, Mohammed Alfatih, Ibrahim S Elkhair

Introduction: Anorectal malformations are some of the most common structural congenital malformations treated by pediatric surgeons globally. A bucket-handle deformity is a subtype of it characterized by a subepithelial midline raphe fistula. The etiology has not been fully understood but it is more likely to be multifactorial; genetic and environmental factors implicated. The outcome of surgery depends on the clinical presentation, early diagnosis, other associated malformations, surgeon’s expertise and a post-operative follow up care.

Objectives: To analyze and evaluate pediatric patients with Bucket-handle deformity in terms of their hospital course (insight into the pre, peri and post-operative course).

Methodology: This study was done at Khartoum North Teaching Hospital in Khartoum; Sudan. The targeted population were all pediatric patients with this deformity in our pediatric surgery department. Data was collected using a data collection sheet filled by the in-charge surgeon in the period from (March 2016 - March 2019).

Results: In 72 pediatric patients with Bucket-handle deformity included, 39 (54.2%) were males and 33 (45.8%) were females. The mean age for patients was 2.28 years and 2.3 years at the time of surgery. When it comes to their gestational age at time of delivery, almost of them (82%) were born at term and about (16.7%) were preterm and only a small fraction (1.4%) were post-term. Ten patients (13.9%) have other anomalies that mainly cardiac and only 3 (4.2%) have an associated family history of congenital anomalies. Only 9.7% of patients were septic on admission and they had a slightly longer pre-operative and post-operatively hospital course when compared to non-septic patients. The average number of days patients stayed in hospital pre-operatively was 6.56 days and 10.72 days post-operatively. Overall, there was no post-operative complications of urinary or fecal incontinence and there was no constipation in the 6 months period following the surgery.

Conclusion: This study showed that all pediatric patients with Bucket-handle deformity in our pediatric surgery department had good surgical outcome with no post-operative complications despite having a relatively long pre-operative and post-operative hospital course.

Recommendations: Although results were excellent regarding the surgery, further studies should be carried out to expand the literature regarding evaluation of pediatric patients with Bucket-handle deformity in terms of their hospital course. More efforts need to be put to optimize pediatric patients for surgery even before referring them to a specialized pediatric surgery unit for the goal of minimizing the duration of their admission course.

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