Introduction: A successful abdominal wall and bladder closure is critical in the management of cloacal exstrophy (CE). This study examines closure outcomes and practices over the last 4 decades at the authors' institution. Beginning in 1995, the authors' institution standardized CE closure and management with the Dual-Staged Pathway (DSP). The DSP consists of a staged bladder closure, a staged or concurrent osteotomy, and postoperative immobilization with external fixation. The authors hypothesize that the DSP has provided better outcomes in CE closures. Methods: A prospective database of 1332 Exstrophy–Epispadias Complex (EEC) patients was reviewed for CE patients closed between 1975 and 2015. The DSP consists of a staged osteotomy and a staged bladder closure in CE patients with a diastasis greater than 4 cm. To evaluate the DSP, outcomes of closure at the authors' institution were compared between two equal, twenty-year periods before and after its implementation. Data on timing of closure, postoperative management, surgical complications, and outcomes were collected. Results: There are 142 CE patients in the database. In this study, 49 CE patients with 50 closures met inclusion criteria. The overall success rate of closures from 1975 to 1994 was 88% (14 of 16), while the success rate of the DSP was 100% (n = 34), p = 0.098. Twenty-two (65%) primary and 12 (35%) secondary closures were performed using the DSP. Overall complication rates of the DSP remained similar to previous closures, (29% vs 19%, p = 0.508). Since incorporation of the DSP, patients referred for closure have generally had a larger preclosure diastasis (7.2 cm vs 5.1 cm, p = 0.011). Conclusion: The standardized DSP closure has proven successful in 34 primary and reoperative cloacal closures in the past 20 years. With this approach, the authors feel that the DSP offers greater patient safety and better outcomes. Level of evidence: Level III, retrospective comparative study.
- Bladder closure
- Cloacal exstrophy
- Exstrophy–epispadias complex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health