Surgery is needed to treat these issues. The method depends on the type and extent of the problem. It is important to work with an experienced pediatric urologist.
The first goal is to stabilize the newborn. This may involve a loop colostomy. This would let the child pass stool and mucus from the colon out through a space in the abdominal wall. For this, the colon is split into two. The open ends are sewn to the abdomen to make a stoma or opening. The stoma can drain the upper colon to let stool pass, while mucus can drain from the lower part.
Because the bladder is most often swollen, the baby will need a catheter to drain urine. And because of fluid build-up from hormones, the vagina may also need decompression.
This can start once the baby is stable and the anatomy is clearly defined. This occurs around age 6 months to 1 year.
If the common channel is less than 4 cm in length, the rectum is detached from the vagina. The common channel is brought down to the surface of the skin. The channel is then divided, and the openings of the vagina and urethra are put in the right places. If the channel is more than 4 cm, the surgical repair will be more complicated and can result in urinary incontinence.
At 2 to 3 weeks after surgery, the rectum is stretched to avoid narrowing. The colostomy is closed after 3 months.