Objectives. To define the possible cause of failure and the eventual potential of the bladder in 23 exstrophy patients, who underwent more than two failed prior attempts at closure. Methods. Twenty-three patients were selected from the exstrophy data base who had two or more prior closures. Eighteen patients had undergone 2 previous closures and 5 patients 3 previous closures for either complete dehiscence or significant prolapse. At the time of initial closure, 19 patients did not have an osteotomy. At secondary closure, 10 underwent osteotomy while at third closure 5 had an osteotomy. At the time of reclosure at our institution all underwent an osteotomy. Results. Reoperative repair at our institution was successful in all patients. Six patients achieved a bladder size suitable for bladder neck reconstruction and of them 3 are dry. The bladder size was inadequate in 9 patients and 8 are being monitored for possible bladder growth. Conclusions. Tension-free closure with osteotomy and immobilization are important factors both in an initial or any subsequent closure. The chance of obtaining an adequate bladder capacity for bladder neck plasty and eventual continence, following multiple reclosures, is markedly diminished.
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