Complications of paraexstrophy skin flaps in the reconstruction of classical bladder exstrophy

J. P. Gearhart, D. S. Peppas, R. D. Jeffs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We reviewed the cases of the exstrophy/epispadias complex treated at our institution between July 1976 and April 1992. A total of 78 patients was identified who had paraexstrophy skin flaps used in the bladder closure, of whom 31 (40%) had a complication as a result of the flaps. The main complication encountered was a urethral stricture where the paraexstrophy skin flaps joined the urethral plate area. Multiple maneuvers were undertaken to correct these problems, including direct vision internal urethrotomy (12 cases), multiple urethral dilations (4), open revision (3) and full thickness skin grafts (5). Seven patients had such a complex stricture situation that they required either continent urinary diversion (5), colon conduit diversion (1) or cutaneous ureterostomy (1), the latter 2 patients having undergone vesicostomy elsewhere before referral. Of the remaining 24 patients who did not undergo a diversionary procedure 12 have undergone an epispadias repair and bladder neck reconstruction, 7 underwent an epispadias repair and 5 await further treatment. Freedom from complications in the initial closure of exstrophy significantly improves the chances of successful reconstruction. The avoidance of problems leading to obstruction, infection, hydronephrosis and reflux nephropathy will provide better kidneys regardless of bladder suitability for function or augmentation. Our use of paraexstrophy flaps has decreased but when they are required, special care in design, placement and followup is advised to avoid complicating strictures and their sequelae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-630
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1993


  • bladder exstrophy
  • skin transplantation
  • surgical flaps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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