Anorectal malformations and Hirschsprung’s disease are the two most common congenital abnormalities of the lower gastrointestinal tract. Despite surgical correction in childhood, many patients continue to experience disturbances in bowel function into adulthood. Studies show that persistence of bowel symptoms significantly impacts quality of life and is associated with social morbidity.
As such, systematic and planned transition from paediatric to adult care is required to provide active medical support for symptomatic adult patients. There is an increasing global recognition of this need. In Malaysia, there are no systematic transition care protocols and models for these disorders. Transfer of care is adhoc, depending on local institutional availability of expertise and preferences of the primary surgeon.
We need adult care teams with a special interest area, training to familiarize adult care teams with paediatric congenital disorders, and further research into cost-effectiveness and impact on quality of life.