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Definition of Congenital anomaly

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Congenital anomaly: Something that is unusual or different at birth.

A minor anomaly is defined as an unusual anatomic feature that is of no serious medical or cosmetic consequence to the patient. A minor anomaly of the feet might, for example, be curvature of the second toe so it overlaps the third toe a little.

A major anomaly, by contrast, might be a cleft lip and palate, a birth defect of serious medical and cosmetic consequence to the child.

The word "congenital" means "at birth." "Anomaly" comes from the Greek word "anomalos" meaning "uneven" or "irregular."

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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