How did the surgeons treat neonates with imperforate anus in the eighteenth century?


Yesildag E., Muniz R. M. , Buyukunal S. N. C.

PEDIATRIC SURGERY INTERNATIONAL, vol.26, no.12, pp.1149-1158, 2010 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00383-010-2672-8
  • Title of Journal : PEDIATRIC SURGERY INTERNATIONAL
  • Page Numbers: pp.1149-1158

Abstract

Anorectal malformations (ARMS) are one of those challenging topics of pediatric surgery. The developments in assessing and approaching patients with these anomalies have been made in the last decades and the methods described in older textbooks functioned as a guide in planning these attempts (Kiely and Pea in Pediatric surgery, Mosby, Missouri, pp 1425-1449, 1998; Grosfeld in Anorectal malformations in children, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp 3-15, 2006). The aim of this study is to present the attitude of a surgeon of eighteenth century to the treatment of anorectal malformations, and the evolution in the history of the anomaly. The part about imperforate anus in a textbook of surgery, found in a second-hand bookstore, was translated. The description and the classification of the anomaly, the methods of approaching these cases together with some case reports were presented and compared with today's practice. The historical background of the anomaly was evaluated not only with regard to the book of Heister specifically but also to the other data obtained in the literature. The anomaly was reported to be "not rarely" observed. The obstetricians were warned to examine a newborn baby completely for early diagnosis. The classification of the anomaly was made according to the properties of the membrane covering the anus but prompt treatment, initiating with its simple excision, was suggested in all types. Better results in cases whose anus was covered with a thin, delicate membrane were reported. The results show that routine neonatal examination for all babies was recommended in this Textbook of Surgery which had been published 260 years ago. The physical deterioration due to delay was well described. A broad classification of imperforate anus was made and successful outcome in low-type anomalies of today was reported with some case samples. It is clear that all the efforts starting from Soranus until today improved the understanding of the anomaly. Combining previous information with today's practice in the meetings focused totally on anorectal malformations, where the leading surgeons shared their experiences and re-evaluated the problems encountered, enlightened the future status of this interesting topic of pediatric surgery.