Continence after BNR in the complete repair of bladder exstrophy (CPRE): A single institution expanded experience

Heather N. Di Carlo, Roni Manyevitch, Wayland J. Wu, Mahir Maruf, Jason Michaud, Daniel Friedlander, John P. Gearhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Several surgical methods have been used for primary repair of bladder exstrophy in the newborn. Complete primary repair of exstrophy (CPRE) aims to prevent the need for surgeries beyond the newborn period. Due to the rarity of bladder exstrophy, it has proven difficult in the past to analyze whether use of this method of closure truly does confer acceptable continence outcomes and hence minimizes the requirement for additional surgeries later in life. Objective: To describe the continence outcomes of CPRE patients who went on to receive bladder neck reconstruction (BNR), and secondarily, to compare clinical features between those patients who were able to receive undergo a BNR compared to those who were not. Study design: An IRB approved database of 1330 exstrophy-epispadias patients was used to identify referred patients after successful CPRE for management of continued urinary incontinence. Urinary continence outcomes were assessed in those who underwent modified Young Dees Leadbetter BNR following CPRE. Results: Sixty-one patients were referred for treatment after successful CPRE between 1996 and 2016. None developed continence or a dry interval after primary closure. Of these, forty-two (68.9%) underwent BNR by a single surgeon at a mean age of 5.8 years (range 5–8.4). The mean bladder capacity at BNR was 147 mL (range 102–210 mL). Twenty-five (59.5%) achieved day and night continence, 7 (16.7%) gained daytime continence with nocturnal leakage, and 10 (23.8%) remain totally incontinent. Mean follow-up after BNR was 5.9 years. Combined CPRE and pelvic osteotomy were performed in 100% of patients who were continent and 75% of those who were daytime dry. No continent patient had a ureteral reimplantation before BNR, whereas 4 patients with daytime continence and nocturnal leakage and 7 patients who remained continuously incontinent did. Discussion: This is the largest known series of BNRs in exstrophy patients closed by CPRE. Previous smaller studies have demonstrated mild to moderate success rates of BNR after CPRE, with many patients still requiring additional continence surgeries. The present study found similar results, with additional indication that successful primary closure and use of pelvic osteotomies may correlate with enhanced continence. This study includes outcomes from a single surgeon, with a maximum length of follow up of 13 years. Conclusions: CPRE alone often does not render patients continent of urine, based on the authors’ referral population. However, following BNR continence rates in this subgroup were found to reach 76%. Surgeons who treat this population should keep these factors in mind when planning continence surgeries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433.e1-433.e6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Bladder exstrophy
  • Complete primary repair of exstrophy (CPRE)
  • Continence
  • Outcomes
  • Urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Urology


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