Anal Stenosis... have you heard of it? Mum Sheree shares her story.
“When my son was 5 weeks old, we noticed he always seemed uncomfortable. Sometimes his little face would go bright red and he would just wriggle with discomfort. He didn’t cry or scream - he just didn’t seem relaxed.
I took him to the doctor who said it was colic, and to try infants friend or gripe water. We bought everything we could find at the chemist and tried them all. He didn’t seem to be any different, so I took him to another doctor who again said it was colic and we would need to ride it out for his first three months. I absolutely couldn’t bare to think that my little man would have to be uncomfortable for at least another 7 weeks.
When my son was born he had a small Exomphalos of his bladder. This is where a portion of the bladder protrudes the abdominal wall at the umbilical joint. He had this operated on the day after he was born. We had to visit his surgeon six weeks after the surgery to ensure everything was healing fine and to receive some tests results. I decided to take the opportunity to ask the surgeon if he had any advice on how to deal with colic. He asked me to describe the symptoms and when I explained that he just seemed uncomfortable all the time he asked to examine my sons bottom. I thought it strange but agreed. Upon the surgeon poking a finger into my sons bottom, a massive amount of poop exploded from my sons behind. I couldn’t believe it. The surgeon advised that my son had what is called anal stenosis. Anal stenosis is a narrowing of the anal canal, meaning that when my son pooped he wasn’t able to finish completely as it wouldn’t fit through his anal passage. He would have to have surgery.
The surgery was booked for two weeks time. I was so happy to finally have a solution to why my son always appeared uncomfortable, but I was frightened of the surgery. Any event where my little boy was put to sleep was not something I could be comfortable about. Having been 6.5 weeks premature he was still so small.
On the day of the surgery, I was a mess. My husband was trying to be manly and strong but he too was a little scared. We waited while he had the surgery, not speaking at all, as we were so nervous. The surgery was over within an hour and a half and our son was returned to us. He was emotional from being in a little pain and I think from being scared and not understanding what was happening. The surgery had gone well the surgeon assured us. It was such a relief to have it all over with.
I stayed the night with my son in the hospital and most of the night he just wanted to be held. By the next morning it was if nothing had happened and he was back to himself.
Anal stenosis is not something I had ever heard of, but occurs 1 in every 5000 births and is common in boys. My son is now 14 months old and so far he hasn’t had any issues to speak of. I feel so lucky to have had the appointment with the surgeon, as my son could have been in pain for some time as we continued to try different colic mixtures to no avail. If you feel there is something not right with your little one, follow your instincts.”