Complete female epispadias, which occurs much more rarely than classic bladder exstrophy in females, is thought to have a more benign clinical course. We hypothesized that patients with complete female epispadias are more likely to have a larger bladder capacity and achieve voiding continence than females with classic bladder exstrophy.Materials and Methods
After obtaining institutional review board approval, females with complete female epispadias or classic bladder exstrophy were identified from an institutionally approved prospective database. We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 22 patients with complete female epispadias and 23 with female classic bladder exstrophy, including 3 with delayed primary closure.Results
Patients with complete female epispadias presented later and underwent the first reconstructive procedure at an older age than patients with classic bladder exstrophy. Patients with complete female epispadias had lower initial and final age adjusted bladder capacity than those with classic bladder exstrophy but the bladder growth rate did not differ between the groups. When patients with complete female epispadias were stratified by age at initial reconstruction, there was no difference in final age adjusted bladder capacity or the bladder growth rate. There was also no statistical difference between the groups in the number of surgeries, continence rate from initial reconstruction, bladder neck reconstruction success or need for a continent stoma.Conclusions
This study suggests that females with classic bladder exstrophy who undergo successful primary closure have higher initial and final age adjusted bladder capacity than females with complete female epispadias but with a similar growth rate. This may reflect the creation of outlet resistance at a younger age than in those with complete female epispadias. However, no difference was identified between patients with complete female epispadias who initially underwent repair before vs after age 1 year. Patients with complete female epispadias undergo procedures to achieve continence that are similar to those in patients with classic bladder exstrophy.