PURPOSE: We investigated surgical approaches to urinary incontinence and long-term continence outcomes after successful bladder reconstruction in a heterogeneous patient population with classic bladder exstrophy. We hypothesized that while most patients will achieve urinary continence after surgery, only a select group will void volitionally per urethra. MATERIALS AND METHODS: An institutional database of 1,323 patients with exstrophy-epispadias complex was reviewed for patients with classic bladder exstrophy who underwent successful bladder closure and a subsequent continence procedure between 1975 and 2017. Procedures included bladder neck reconstruction, bladder neck reconstruction with augmentation cystoplasty or continent catheterizable stoma, and bladder neck closure with continent catheterizable stoma. Cloacal exstrophy, epispadias and variant exstrophy cases were excluded from analysis. Continence at last followup was defined as a dry interval of 3 or more hours without nighttime leakage. Those patients with more than 3 months of followup were assessed. RESULTS: Overall 432 patients underwent successful bladder closure (primary 71.5%, repeat 28.5%) and a urinary continence procedure. At last followup 162 (37%) underwent bladder neck reconstruction, 76 (18%) underwent bladder neck reconstruction with augmentation cystoplasty or continent catheterizable stoma, 173 (40%) underwent bladder neck closure with continent catheterizable stoma and 18 underwent other procedures. Median followup from the first continence procedure was 7.2 years (IQR 2.3-13.7). Continence was assessed in 350 patients. After isolated bladder neck reconstruction 91 of 142 patients were continent (64%, 95% CI 56-72). After bladder neck closure with continent catheterizable stoma 124 of 133 patients evaluated were continent (93%, 95% CI 87-97). CONCLUSIONS: Most patients with classic bladder exstrophy require multiple reconstructive procedures to achieve continence. Only about 25% of patients are expected to void normally per urethra without reliance on catheterization or urinary diversion.
- bladder exstrophy
- reconstructive surgical procedures
- treatment outcome
- urinary incontinence
ASJC Scopus subject areas