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Urology. 2001 May;57(5):906-10.

Bladder preservation in adult classic exstrophy: early results of four patients.

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Department of Urology, B. Y. L. Nair Charitable Hospital, Mumbai, India.



To report our experience with the treatment of classic exstrophy of the bladder in a small series of adult patients using ileocystoplasty, bladder neck reconstruction, and abdominal wall closure with flaps. The presentation of exstrophy of the bladder in adulthood is rare. The problems encountered include difficulty in abdominal closure, malignant potential, and upper tract dysfunction. The treatment of choice has been cystectomy with urinary diversion in all reported cases.


We treated 4 adult male patients with classic exstrophy of the bladder and complete epispadias. They had not received any previous treatment. Multiple random bladder biopsies revealed nonspecific inflammatory changes with focal areas of keratinization. Three patients were treated in two stages. The first stage included ileocystoplasty, bladder neck reconstruction, and abdominal wall closure with the use of flaps. The epispadias was repaired in the second stage. In 1 patient, the reconstruction was completed in a single stage.


All patients were continent at the last follow-up visit, with three using self-catheterization and one voiding spontaneously. The renal parameters and ultrasound scans were normal at a follow-up of 2 to 48 months. Cystoscopy performed at 6 months postoperatively revealed normal-looking mucosa in 2 patients and mild inflammation in 1 patient. Three patients were satisfied with the cosmetic results and one complained of the small size of his penis. All patients were evaluated by psychiatrists and revealed anxiety disorders preoperatively. After surgery, all demonstrated improved social interaction.


Vesical preservation with primary reconstruction of bladder exstrophy in adults is safe and feasible in the absence of significant histologic changes in the bladder mucosa. Abdominal closure can be achieved without difficulty with the use of transposition flaps. However, these patients require strict follow-up to detect malignant transformation at an early stage.

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