The MACE procedure has been used in patients with imperforate anus (IA) to improve fecal continence. Our aim was to assess the impact of the MACE on the quality of life (QOL) in children with IA and fecal incontinence. A retrospective review was performed of children with IA that underwent the MACE procedure between 1997 and 2004. Patients and their parents were contacted by telephone survey regarding continence and its psychosocial effects before and after MACE. The same survey was given to the patients’ teachers. Responses to 15 questions were compiled and a QOL score calculated and significance evaluated by t-test (P ≤ 0.05). IRB approval was obtained. Thirty-two patients were identified with a mean age at operation of 9 years (4–19 years) and mean follow-up of 3.8 years (7 months to 8 years). Four patients had a low malformation, 8 were intermediate, 15 were high, and 5 had a cloacal anomaly. Twenty patients had documented sacral/spinal anomalies, including five with tethered cord. Post-MACE complications included stenosis in 16 (50%), with 11 requiring an operative revision at a mean of 21.7 months (2 months to 6 years), takedown in one at 4 years and volvulus in one at 18 months. Prior to the MACE, 18/25 (72%) had poor QOL scores. Post-MACE QOL results were similar between patients, parents and teachers. Patients’ mean QOL score improved from 59.9 to 26.3% (P < 0.001), with parents from 59.7 to 26.4% (P < 0.001). QOL score improved >50% in nine families, 25–50% in ten and <25% in six. All patients and parents interviewed reported an improvement in their QOL following the MACE. This procedure should be offered to children with IA with the expectation of significant improvement in QOL.
Malone antegrade continence enemaMACEAntegrade continence enemaAceQuality of life