Continence in the cloacal exstrophy patient: What does it cost?

Seth D. Goldstein, Brian M. Inouye, Sunil Reddy, Kathy Lue, Ezekiel E. Young, Mahmoud Abdelwahab, Mehnaj Grewal, Spencer Wildonger, Andrew A. Stec, John P. Gearhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background Surgical advancements have made cloacal exstrophy (CE) a survivable condition, though management remains complex. Urologic, orthopedic, colorectal and gynecologic interventions are not standardized, and the cost of this care is high. While the importance of a successful primary closure in terms of outcomes is known, the economic consequences of failure remain uncharacterized. Methods A prospectively maintained institutional database of epispadias-exstrophy complex patients was reviewed for continent CE patients. Hospital charges for all inpatient admissions prior to achieving urinary continence were inflation-adjusted to year 2013 values using Consumer Price Index for medical care published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Records for which charge data were incomplete were completed by using single mean imputation, also inflation-adjusted. Descriptive data are presented as mean ± standard deviation (SD). Results Of 102 CE patients, 35 had available hospital charge data: 15 who underwent successful primary closure at the authors' institution and 20 who presented after previously failed primary closures at referring institutions. The mean ± SD hospital charges for primary closure in the success group were $136,201 ± $48,920. These patients then underwent subsequent additional surgeries that accrued charges of $59,549 ± $25,189 in order to achieve continence. Overall, successful primary closures accumulated hospital charges of $200,366 ± $40,071. In comparison, patients referred after prior failure required significantly more hospital admissions and additional charges of $207,674 ± $65,820 were required to achieve continence (p < 0.001). Patients who failed primary closure are estimated to accumulate 70% more total health care charges compared to the group following successful primary closure. Conclusion The cost of CE management until urinary continence is high, averaging more than $200,000 in inpatient hospital charges alone. Initial success is desirable from both an outcomes and economic perspective, as the cost of salvaging a failed primary closure at our institution is similar to the overall costs of a successful closure; this is in addition to the cost of any previous failed closures. Further studies will be required to determine the optimal timing of surgical management in terms of both patient outcomes and financial consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-625
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Cloacal exstrophy
  • Continence
  • Cost analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Continence in the cloacal exstrophy patient: What does it cost?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this