Children's Hospital Colorado
Sandy and Karsang talk to Gabriela and Adrian

Cloacal Repair and Treatment

Surgical treatment of cloaca

Cloaca is a complex condition that requires multiple surgeries. The surgical treatment a child will need depends on the type of cloaca they have and any other health problems they were born with.

Knowing your baby needs one surgery is scary, but knowing they need more than one surgery can feel overwhelming. Tashi's parents share their experience with the surgeries she has had and how their family has managed the journey.



Colostomy and PSARVUP surgery

After a baby with cloaca is born, they usually need a colostomy within 24 hours. A colostomy is a surgical procedure that creates an opening on the abdomen through which stool passes. The next surgery a female with cloaca needs is a reconstructive surgery called posterior sagittal anorecto-vagino-urethroplasty (PSARVUP).

During PSARVUP, the surgeon separates the urethra, vagina and rectum so there are three perineal openings at the end of the operation, instead of one. The type of surgery your child needs depends on the length of the common channel.

Cloacal repair and treatment timeline

Cloaca treatment occurs in stages. The treatment a child will need depends on the type of cloaca they have and any other health problems they have. The timeline below is an example of the treatment a child with cloaca may need.

Newborn icon

24 hours to 2 months old

  • Tests to rule out other health problems
  • Drainage of hydrocolpos (fluid buildup in the vagina)
  • Surgery to create a colostomy
Crawling baby icon

2 to 9 months old

  • PSARVUP reconstructive surgery
  • Colostomy closure
Toddler icon

3 years old

Child icon

5 to 8 years old

Our multidisciplinary treatment approach

Our multidisciplinary care team is dedicated to helping your child achieve the best outcomes possible to improve their quality of life. Our expert team includes pediatric colorectal surgeons, urologists, gynecologists, neurosurgeons, gastroenterologists, orthopedists, psychologists and dietitians.


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Find a doctor

Browse and connect with world-class colorectal and urogenital surgeons at Children's Colorado.

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Meet more patients

Read inspiring stories about other patients born with an anorectal malformation and how they persevered.

See their stories
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Helpful resources

Our International Center for Colorectal and Urogenital Care is home to world-renowned surgeons, Alberto Peña, MD, and Andrea Bischoff, MD.

Find what you need

"We feel extremely fortunate that we happened to be in Colorado near Children's Hospital."

Karsang, Tashi's father
Karsang talks to Adrian about cloaca

Partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Children's Hospital Colorado partners with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where many of our physicians and care providers serve as faculty.

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