Newborn exstrophy closure without osteotomy: Is there a role?

Brian M. Inouye, Kathy Lue, Mahmoud Abdelwahab, Heather N. Di Carlo, Ezekiel E. Young, Ali Tourchi, Mehnaj Grewal, Christopher Hesh, Paul D. Sponseller, John P. Gearhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Introduction Recent articles document successful classic bladder exstrophy (CBE) closure without osteotomy. Still, many patients require osteotomy if they have a large bladder template and pubic diastasis, or non-malleable pelvis. Objective To understand the indications and outcomes of bladder closure with and without pelvic osteotomy in patients younger than 1 month of age. Methods An institutional database of 1217 exstrophy-epispadias patients was reviewed for CBE patients closed at the authors' institution within the first month of life. Patient demographics, closure history, pubic diastasis distance, bladder capacity, and outcomes were recorded and compared using chi-square tests between osteotomy and non-osteotomy patients. Failure was defined as bladder dehiscence, prolapse, vesicocutaneous fistula, or bladder outlet obstruction requiring reoperation. Bladder capacity >100 mL was deemed sufficient for bladder neck reconstruction (BNR). Results One hundred CBE patients were included for analysis: 38 closed with osteotomy (26 male, 12 female), and 62 closed without osteotomy (42 male, 20 female). There were four failed closures in the osteotomy group (2 dehiscence, 2 prolapse) and four failed closures in the non-osteotomy group (2 dehiscence, 2 prolapse). This corresponded to statistically equivalent rates of failure between the osteotomy and non-osteotomy groups (10.5% vs. 6.5%, p = 0.466). There was no statistically significant difference between the groups' ability to achieve bladder capacity sufficient for BNR (82% vs. 71%, p = 0.234). Discussion A successful primary bladder closure, regardless of the use of osteotomy, has been shown to be the single most important predictor of eventual continence. Because of the complexity of exstrophy manifestations, a multidisciplinary team approach is of the utmost importance. Based on our institutional experience, closure without osteotomy is considered when patients are <72 h of life, have a pubic diastasis <4 cm, malleable pelvis, and pubic apposition without difficulty. Rates of successful closure and attaining sufficient capacity for BNR were both statistically equivalent across groups. This retrospective study is limited by selection bias and the significant difference in follow-up time between groups. Nevertheless, as a high-volume exstrophy center this study draws from one of the largest cohorts available. Conclusions Regardless of the type of closure undertaken, there clearly is a role for newborn CBE closure without pelvic osteotomy in patients considered suitable for closure by both the pediatric urologist and orthopedic consultant. However, if there is any doubt concerning pubic diastasis width, pelvic malleability, or ease of pubic apposition, an osteotomy is highly recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51.e1-51.e4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Journal of Pediatric Urology Company.


  • Classic bladder exstrophy
  • Pelvic osteotomy
  • Pubic symphysis diastasis


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