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A cloaca is a complex type of anorectal malformation (ARM) found in female patients who have an imperforate anus and a single perineal orifice on physical exam. This external opening is the distal most aspect of the common channel where three organ systems (gastrointestinal, reproductive and urinary) come together. The urethra, vagina, and rectum all open into this common channel which can be of varying lengths. The length of the common channel determines the maneuvers necessary for repair.
see also Anorectal Malformations