Complex Treatment Required for Bladder Exstrophy
Bladder exstrophy is a rare birth defect that occurs when the bladder and urinary tract don’t develop properly. The severity of the condition varies from child to child, but in general it can affect the genitals, kidneys, pubic bones, and pelvic muscles. Bladder exstrophy is typically identified with ultrasound during a routine pregnancy check, and the diagnosis is confirmed after birth. If it is suspected during your pregnancy, your OB-GYN will refer you to a pediatric urologist who will help to create a plan to treat your baby immediately or soon after birth.
Treating bladder exstrophy involves a series of surgeries to repair the bladder, reshape the pelvic bones, and ensure affected organs and systems -- such as the kidneys and urinary control -- are functioning correctly. Ideally, surgery is performed within the first three days after birth, when the pelvic bones are malleable. This reduces the likelihood your child will need more complex procedures when they are older. Treatment also includes therapy to help your child learn bladder control.
We work as a team to help your child develop properly. Our goal is to ensure your child achieves adequate urinary continence so they may lead a normal and happy life. We also expect that sexual function and fertility will be essentially normal, so future parenthood is possible.