Objective: Growth of the bladder in children with bladder exstrophy is primarily responsible for later ability to void continently. Improvement in bladder capacity has been noted in some boys following epispadias repair. Does the timing of epispadias repair influence the ability of the bladder to grow? Methods: Data were collected regarding bladder volume measurements, obtained under anesthesia using a standard technique, during yearly follow-up of boys with classic bladder exstrophy. Volume prior to epispadias repair was compared to the next volume measure following repair. Timing of epispadias repair was compared to changes in bladder capacity in 30 boys. Monthly increases in bladder capacity were calculated in boys repaired at < 12 (4), 13-24 (12) and 25-48 (14) months. Results: Patients who had surgery prior to 12 months of age had the highest rate of monthly increase in bladder capacity (2.40 cc/month). Monthly growth rates were 1.91 cc/month for patients repaired at 13-24 months and 1.18 cc/month for those repaired at 25-48 months. Conclusions: Epispadias repair does lead to early increase in bladder capacity in boys with classic bladder exstrophy. The monthly increases in bladder capacity are greater in boys < 12 months. Improvement in bladder volume is less likely when epispadias is repaired after age 29 months.
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