Objectives. To outline the management strategies applied to the adolescent patient population with exstrophy/epispadias and incontinence at our institution. These patients present a difficult management problem. At the same time they are dealing with difficult issues, including body image and sexual awareness, the added burden of ongoing incontinence causes major anxieties and lifestyle restrictions. In many, incontinence has persisted despite numerous operations. Methods. A total of 25 (19 male and 6 female) patients who remained incontinent into adolescence or early adulthood were reviewed. Of the 25 patients, 19 had exstrophy, 4 had cloacal exstrophy, and 1 male and 1 female had epispadias. Six patients had undergone eight prior attempts at continent reconstruction, one had undergone cutaneous diversion, and one had problems after ureterosigmoidostomy. Results. The mean age at continence surgery was 12.9 years. Of the 25 patients, 18 underwent bladder augmentation, with a continent stoma in 17 and an artificial sphincter in 1. An additional 5 patients underwent bladder neck transection, with a new continent stoma in 3. The ureterosigmoidostomy was converted to a Mainz II pouch. One patient underwent continent neobladder formation. Nine patients (36%) developed complications during follow-up. Three required stoma revision for stenosis and one for prolapse. Pouch stones occurred in 4 patients, and vesicocutaneous fistula developed in 1. All achieved full urinary continence. The mean follow-up was 72.4 months. Conclusions. Some children with exstrophy/epispadias reach adolescence and remain incontinent. For these patients, modern reconstructive techniques provide hope of continence. With careful preoperative assessment, exact surgical precision, and regular follow-up, a successful outcome can be expected in virtually all cases without the need for external urine collection devices.
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