The treatment for fetal bladder exstrophy is different with each child. The Colorado Fetal Care Center offers the experience and expertise of our fetal care team to provide the widest range of treatment options for this condition.
Babies born with this condition generally receive at least one bladder exstrophy surgery, but most children require multiple operations. The first priority is to close the bladder, the back of the urethra and the pelvic bones, while ensuring that the internal organs are enclosed within the abdomen. Surgeons also rebuild the external sex organs and fix the bladder so it can provide urinary continence.
The number of surgeries depends on the details of each case, but physicians often follow a phased approach to bladder exstrophy surgery. This means they start at birth by closing the bladder and pelvis and repair the urethra and genitals later in infancy. Then, when a child is ready for potty training and his or bladder is large enough, physicians perform the bladder exstrophy surgery necessary for continence (usually around age 4).
What is the long-term outcome after surgery for bladder exstrophy?
Reconstructive surgery to correct the defects associated with bladder exstrophy have positive results, with most patients achieving functional use of their bladder, urethra, pelvic bones and genitals by potty-training-age. Even in more complex cases that require longer-term management, reconstructive surgery can allow patients to reach puberty with successful results.