Continent urinary diversion and the exstrophy-epispadias complex

Ilhami Surer, Fernando A. Ferrer, Linda A. Baker, John P. Gearhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Purpose: The use of continent urinary reservoirs has gained wide acceptance, particularly in urinary reconstruction in children with a small capacity or neuropathic bladder. When augmentation cystoplasty is combined with clean intermittent catheterization, patients are often able to achieve continence with low intravesical filling pressures and renal preservation. Often this approach requires fashioning a continent cutaneous stoma, which remains the most challenging aspect of continent urinary reservoirs. We analyzed our experience with continent diversion in patients with exstrophy-epispadias to determine complications and long-term results. Materials and Methods: We performed a retrospective database review of 704 cases of exstrophy-epispadias. Medical records were then used to identify those patients who had undergone creation of a continent urinary reservoir. Charts were reviewed to determine initial diagnosis, augmentation technique, continence mechanism, age, preoperative and postoperative bladder capacity, continence status and complications. Results: Of the 91 patients identified (68 male, 23 female) who had undergone continent urinary diversion classic bladder exstrophy was present in 80, cloacal exstrophy in 8, complete male epispadias in 2 and female epispadias in 1. The most common techniques for augmentation and continent diversion were ileocystoplasty (41 patients [45%]) and sigmoid cystoplasty (30 [33%]), respectively. Appendix was used in 67 patients (74%) and variants of the Mitrofanoff procedure using segments of tapered ileum or ureter were used to create a continent stoma in 10 (11%). Bladder neck transection was performed in 59 patients (65%). Mean age at augmentation and continent diversion was 8 years (range 2 to 25), with a mean preoperative bladder capacity of 77 cc (15 to 220). Mean followup was 6 years (range 6 months to 12 years). Of the 91 patients 85 (93%) were continent with clean intermittent catheterization per stoma. Of these 85 patients 13 required anticholinergics and α-agonists to achieve continence. Six patients (7%) were incontinent after the procedure. Analysis of bladder capacity measurements after augmentation and continent diversion revealed that mean postoperative volume and mean volume increase were 404 cc (range 250 to 640) and 524%, respectively. The most common complications were bladder stone formation (24 patients [26%]) and stomal stenosis (21 [23%]). Bladder stones recurred in 9 patients and stomal stenosis in 3. Other less common complications were vesicourethral fistula (3 patients) and a small bladder perforation (2). Conclusion: Augmentation and continent diversion procedures can increase the functional capacity of the small contracted noncompliant exstrophic bladder, and allow the vast majority of patients to achieve continence and preserve renal function. Bladder calculi and stomal stenosis pose the most significant long-term complications in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1102-1105
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


  • Bladder exstrophy
  • Urinary diversion
  • Urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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