Many parents have questions about their child’s ability to control urine or feces after surgery. The result depends on how serious the problem was at first.
In milder cases, 9 out of 10 babies have good control and a nearly normal pattern with stools. Urinary control is also better in the milder cases (where the common channel is less than 4 cm long).
Around 7 or 8 out of 10 patients with more severe cloacal anomalies will have good control. They will have very few episodes of leaking. The others may have long-term problems and will need further care.
There may also be neurological issues in leaking, which may affect up to 1/3 of patients. Learning to self-catheterize can help with bladder emptying. Some may benefit from enema-treatments for better bowel emptying and stool control.
Once the cloacal abnormality is fixed, a normal and enjoyable sex life is possible.