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J Urol. 2000 Sep;164(3 Pt 2):1044-7.

How well do patients with exstrophy actually void?

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Division of Pediatric Urology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.



Achieving continence and preserving renal function are goals in the care of patients with bladder exstrophy. The Young-Dees-Leadbetter bladder neck reconstruction should ideally provide continence and normal voiding dynamics without the need for intermittent catheterization. We review our experience with bladder neck reconstruction in this population with emphasis on voiding dynamics among those patients doing well.


We retrospectively analyzed all patients with the exstrophy-epispadias complex seen at our institutions since 1985. We reviewed staged reconstruction in 53 patients, including 31 with classic bladder exstrophy, 4 with exstrophy variants and 18 with incontinent epispadias. Patients with additional neurogenic dysfunction were excluded from study. Subjective and objective data regarding voiding function and complications were collected.


Complete reconstruction for continence was performed in 38 cases, of which 11 that required bladder augmentation with bladder neck reconstruction or who had a different primary continence procedure were excluded from study. The remaining 27 patients treated with the Young-Dees-Leadbetter bladder neck reconstruction had 2 or more years of followup (mean 5.9). Dry intervals of at least 2 hours were achieved by 18 patients and all were considered by parents to void well. Despite near or total subjective continence and "good" voiding, 13 of these 18 patients (72%) have clinical problems related to emptying, which include recurrent urinary tract infections in 10, epididymitis in 2 and bladder calculi in 4. Objective urodynamic parameters confirm poor voiding in most patients.


Bladder neck reconstruction in patients with exstrophy can achieve continence without intermittent catheterization. In our experience patients who achieve these goals have an alarming frequency of clinical and urodynamic problems related to emptying. One must question the normalcy of the voiding pattern and price to achieve continence among patients with exstrophy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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