OBJECTIVE: To report our preliminary institutional experience of incorporating a tunica vaginalis flap (TVF) as an adjunct into primary or secondary epispadias repair.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A prospectively maintained institutionally approved database of exstrophy-epispadias complex patients was used to identify and retrospectively review male patients who underwent epispadias repair from September 2010 to October 2014 at the authors' institution. Patients who underwent epispadias repair with TVF were identified and their clinical outcomes were measured.
RESULTS: A total of 49 male patients were identified as meeting inclusion criteria, of which 15 (2 isolated epispadias, 13 classic bladder exstrophy) underwent epispadias repair incorporating a TVF. Median age at time of repair was 12 months (interquartile range [IQR] 10-15.5). A median of 4 layers (IQR 4-5) was incorporated into each repair closure, applying EVICEL Fibrin Sealant as an additional layer in all patients. All patients received preoperative testosterone injection therapy of 2 mg/kg 5 and 2 weeks before surgery for penile growth. There were no intraoperative complications. Median follow-up of 19 months (IQR 12-23) revealed 5 patients who underwent epispadias revision, 3 (20%) of which developed a urethrocutaneous fistula. All patients had a successful repair without recurrence.
CONCLUSION: The authors have found the utilization of a TVF with epispadias repairs to be beneficial but no better than the repair with our routine soft-tissue coverage in primary epispadias repair. However, in patients presenting with complex anatomy and limited tissue reserves, a TVF is an important adjunct to epispadias repair and/or revision and may lead to improved outcomes.
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