Objective: To present the critical features of our postoperative plan for children undergoing delayed primary bladder closure because appropriate postoperative management is crucial to successful exstrophy repair. Methods: Using an institutionally approved database, patients with bladder exstrophy whose primary bladder closure was performed at least 1 month after birth were identified. All aspects of the postoperative management were reviewed. Results: A total of 20 patients (18 boys) were identified: 19 with classic bladder extrosphy and 1 with an exstrophy variant. The patients underwent closure at a mean age of 9.9 months. All patients underwent pelvic osteotomy and immobilization for an average of 34.8 days. Analgesia was administered by way of a tunneled epidural catheter in 90% of patients for an average of 18.8 days, and 12 patients (60%) required adjunct intravenous analgesia. Bilateral ureteral catheters and suprapubic tubes were used in all patients. Total parenteral nutrition was administered to 10 (83%) of 12 patients who underwent closure after 2000. All patients received preoperative antibiotics and 2 weeks of postoperative intravenous antibiotics that was followed by oral prophylaxis. The mean hospital stay was 6.3 weeks. With an average follow-up of 7.4 years, delayed closure was 100% successful. Conclusion: Successful delayed primary closure of bladder exstrophy requires a multidisciplinary approach. The keys to success include osteotomy, pelvic immobilization, analgesia, nutritional support, maximal bladder drainage, and infection prophylaxis.
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