They are most often found at birth. The doctor will see that the newborn has only one opening. Often it is hooded and elongated. The baby will also have abdominal swelling.
The tests to confirm the diagnosis include:
An abdominal ultrasound is done to see swelling in the bladder, vagina and rectum. It will also show if there is a buildup of urine in the kidneys and ureters. This can happen when urine stays in the bladder and can't drain. Kidney problems can happen in 60 – 80% of cases.
In this test, dye is added into the common channel and an X-ray is taken. The dye helps the doctor understand the areas that cannot be seen. It can also show other, related problems.
This must be followed by endoscopy to get a closer look with a fiber-optic camera. This will help the surgeon decide on treatment.
Lastly, an MRI of the pelvis and spine will be done. This will look for spinal defects. The heart can also be checked by echocardiogram.