Surgical repair of bladder exstrophy in the modern era: Contemporary practice patterns and the role of hospital case volume

Caleb P. Nelson, Rodney L. Dunn, John T. Wei, John P. Gearhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Purpose: Bladder exstrophy is a rare condition, and data are lacking regarding practice patterns in its surgical management. We used a large nationwide database to investigate practice patterns of bladder exstrophy repair. Materials and Methods: We used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (1988 to 2000) to identify patients who underwent surgical repair of bladder exstrophy (International Classification of Disease-9 code 578.6). We analyzed factors affecting practice patterns and outcomes. Hospital volume was based on caseload during the highest volume year of study participation (high volume 5 or more, mid volume 3 to 4 and low volume less than 3 cases). Results: We identified 407 cases. Approximately half of the patients (53.2%) were hospitalized within 24 hours of birth, although 28% of patients were older than 1 year. Of the patients 54% were male. Exstrophy repair is extremely resource intensive. In this series mean length of hospital stay (LOS) was 24.6 ± 22.8 days, and mean inflation adjusted hospital charges were $62,302 (median $39,978). High volume hospitals (HVHs) had lower hospital charges ($37,370) than mid volume ($51,778) or low volume hospitals (LVHs, $50,474, p = 0.0095). On multivariate regression HVHs had lower charges even after controlling for other significant predictors, including LOS (p <0.0001). Patients at HVHs were more likely to undergo osteotomy (p = 0.007). Six patients died after exstrophy repair (1.5%), all of whom had been born prematurely (p <0.0001). Although death was more likely at LVHs, this was due to the fact that more patients at LVHs were born prematurely (4.2% at HVHs vs 5.9% at mid volume hospitals and 11.1% at LVHs, p = 0.027). Conclusions: Bladder exstrophy repair carries a high risk of morbidity and is resource intensive. Variations between high and low volume hospitals in practice patterns and case mix may contribute to observed differences in resource use, LOS and clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1099-1102
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Bladder exstrophy; urologic surgical procedures; treatment outcome; economics
  • Medical; length of stay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Surgical repair of bladder exstrophy in the modern era: Contemporary practice patterns and the role of hospital case volume'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this