Objectives. Interest has increased in combining procedures during reconstruction of bladder exstrophy in an effort to reduce the number of procedures required for reconstruction and to improve results. This study illustrates our technique of reconstruction and summarizes our current experience with the combination of epispadias repair and bladder closure during initial reconstruction or following prior failed bladder closure. Methods. Twenty-four boys with classic bladder exstrophy underwent combined bladder closure and epispadias repair. The mean patient age was 20 months, and 18 boys had a prior failed closure. Osteotomies were performed in all patients. Results. No instances of bladder prolapse or dehiscence were noted on follow-up. Urethrocutaneous fistula developed in 7 patients. Eventual bladder neck reconstruction has been performed in 1 1 boys (6 boys are dry day and night, 3 are dry during the day with occasional wet episodes at night, 2 have required follow-up bladder augmentation and continent diversion for persistent incontinence), and 1 boy had augmentation at the same time as bladder neck reconstruction. Twelve boys are awaiting adequate capacity for bladder neck reconstruction, and 1 is awaiting bladder augmentation and continent stoma construction. Conclusions. Epispadias closure can be safely combined with bladder closure in select patients with classic bladder exstrophy. Complication rates and cosmesis approximate that achieved with staging the two procedures. This achievement represents strict patient selection and attentive follow-up.
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