Purpose: Children with bladder exstrophy in whom initial closure fails are less likely to achieve adequate bladder capacity for later bladder neck reconstruction and continence. Repeat bladder closure may be combined with epispadias repair as initial management, decreasing the need for repeat anesthesia as well as providing increased outlet resistance to permit bladder growth in preparation for later bladder neck reconstruction. We compared results in boys who underwent combined bladder closure and epispadias repair or staged reconstruction. Materials and Methods: A total of 16 boys with a mean age of 22 months with bladder exstrophy were referred for bladder closure after previous closure had failed in 15 and for delayed primary closure in 1. Osteotomies were performed in all patients, with bladder closure and epispadias repair as initial treatment. Results were compared to those in 21 boys with a mean age of 26 months in whom exstrophy closure had failed, and who underwent standard staged reconstruction by repeat closure followed by epispadias repair and subsequent bladder neck reconstruction in those who achieved adequate bladder capacity. Results: At a mean followup of 87 months fistula rates were similar in the 2 groups. Eventual bladder neck reconstruction was possible in 69% of the patients in each group. In addition, 2 boys in the combined repair group achieved continence before bladder neck reconstruction was performed. Conclusions: We recommend epispadias repair combined with bladder exstrophy closure for treating failed exstrophy closure or late initial closure. Operative complications and results are comparable to those in patients in whom previous exstrophy closure failed and who undergo standard staged repair.
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