With You for Life: Multidisciplinary Care for Children and Adults With Congenital Colorectal Disorders

Child pointing at stomach For patients living with a congenital colorectal disorder, having providers with expertise in specific pediatric conditions can make a big difference in treatment options and quality of life. Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, in affiliation with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston provides unmatched care for congenital colorectal disorders and the related conditions that begin at birth and continue throughout adulthood.

The comprehensive congenital colorectal care program helps provide patients with support and management for long-term challenges. Many patients have difficulty finding providers who fully understand their condition and related disorders, and who can provide the necessary treatment and management. That’s why the affiliated team takes a comprehensive approach with physicians from multiple specialties working together to create innovative methods of caring for medical needs that can last a lifetime.

What Is a Congenital Colorectal Disorder?

Congenital colorectal disorders are conditions babies are born with that affect the anatomy or function of the colon, rectum, and pelvic floor. Kidney, bladder, genital, and spine disorders often occur along with a congenital colorectal disorder. 

While patients can undergo surgery to correct the disorder as infants, many continue to experience symptoms throughout their life. These symptoms can affect bowel movements, urinary control, sexual function, reproductive capabilities, kidney function, and other aspects of daily life.

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Colorectal Disorders We Treat

Our affiliated team of highly specialized physicians can diagnose, treat, and manage a wide range of complex colorectal disorders including:

  • Anorectal malformation/Imperforate anus: A congenital condition in which the patient either lacks or has an abnormally positioned anal opening.
  • Cloacal anomaly: A congenital condition of the female reproductive anatomy, where the rectum, vagina, and urinary tract are merged together and exit as one opening.
  • Cloacal exstrophy: A very rare congenital condition where children are born with their large intestine and bladder outside of the body, and often associated with genital anomalies, imperforate anus, and spinal anomalies.
  • Bladder exstrophy: A congenital condition that occurs when the bladder does not develop properly and is outside of the body when the baby is born.
  • Hirschsprung disease: A congenital condition of nerves of the intestine, causing a portion of the intestine to have poor motility.
  • Spina bifida or myelomeningocele: A congenital condition of the spine that can affect both colorectal and urologic function.

We also treat conditions that develop because of congenital colorectal disorders and their associated anomalies including:

How Are Colorectal Disorders Diagnosed?

Most colorectal disorders are diagnosed during infancy — using a physical examination, diagnostic studies, and imaging tests. In addition to a physical examination, the team of multispecialty physicians may recommend testing that could include:

  • Abdominal X-ray or CT scan
  • Anorectal manometry
  • Colonic manometry
  • Colonoscopy
  • Colostogram
  • Contrast enema
  • Echocardiogram
  • Examination under anesthesia
  • Hormonal studies
  • MRI of abdomen, pelvis, or spine
  • Pelvic floor evaluation
  • Renal ultrasound
  • Sitz marker study
  • Spine ultrasound
  • Testosterone evaluation
  • Transvaginal ultrasound
  • Urodynamic studies

Which Treatment Options Are Available?

Some patients require only surgery, while others can benefit from ongoing treatment for a variety of issues. It is not unusual for patients to have unresolved medical concerns when moving from pediatric to adult care. Congenital colorectal conditions often lead to problems that may not have been addressed in childhood but will be important to address as patients age. Issues in need of attention may include fertility issues, sexual dysfunction, and mental health issues.

Our care team involved in this comprehensive program provide seamless coordination between different medical specialties to deliver the most appropriate treatment options. Surgical and nonsurgical procedures provided at UT Physicians clinics or a Children’s Memorial Hermann location include:

  • Corrective surgery
    • Colorectal
    • Urologic
    • Gynecologic
    • Neurosurgical spine
  • Bowel management for fecal incontinence
    • Medication program
    • Enema program
  • Sacral nerve stimulation
  • Hormone replacement
  • Urologic functional studies

Convenient Transition From Pediatric Care

As a health system that cares for both children and adults, Memorial Hermann, in affiliation with UTHealth Houston and UT Physicians, is uniquely positioned to have pediatric and adult providers work together to provide the most complete care available. It is a team effort that delivers exceptional, coordinated care. We treat adults who transition within the Memorial Hermann system from pediatric care, as well as adults who have received pediatric care elsewhere.

We Are Ready to Help You

We are here to help you navigate congenital colorectal care. Feeling unsure of what the future holds is normal, but Memorial Hermann is ready to guide you through the process so you can enjoy the best possible quality of life.

Patient Stories

  • patient rebecca

    Rebecca’s Story: Care in Katy through the Comprehensive Congenital Colorectal Program

    May 10, 2023

    In the spring of 2021, Francesca and Carlos Recao, who live near Katy, Texas, were finally feeling settled as first-time parents. Their little girl, Rebecca Rose, had just turned 9 months old, and the couple was soaking up every moment as a family of three. But during Rebecca’s 9-month well...

    Read More
  • patient Isaac

    Isaac’s story: The Comprehensive Congenital Colorectal Program helped give our son the ability to live a socially confident life

    March 21, 2023

    Isaac was born with imperforate anus, a rare birth defect where there is no anus (opening) at the end of his digestive tract. Isaac also had a neurogenic bladder, a term that describes what happens when neurological conditions affect the way the bladder functions. He had surgery to reconstruct hi...

    Read More

Contact Us

If you have any questions, use the online tool below to help us connect with you. To refer a patient or schedule an appointment, please contact our clinic using the information below.

UT Physicians Pediatric Surgery
Texas Medical Center

6410 Fannin St., Suite 950
Houston, Texas 77030
Phone: (832) 325-7234

Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital
23920 Katy Fwy, Suite 510
Medical Plaza One
Katy, TX 77494
Phone: (832) 325-7234

To contact Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, please fill out the form below.


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