Total urogenital complex mobilization in female patients with exstrophy

Bradley P. Kropp*, Earl Y. Cheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: Female bladder exstrophy/epispadias has traditionally been approached in a staged fashion. This approach results in a vagina that remains in an abnormal position on the anterior abdominal wall. We present a surgical correction of the female exstrophy/epispadias urogenital complex with total mobilization that returns the vagina to its proper anatomical position. Materials and Methods: Since 1997, 7 female patients presenting with variants of the exstrophy/epispadias complex have undergone surgical repair using total urogenital complex mobilization. Of the patients 1 newborn and 2 schoolage children had classic bladder exstrophy, 2 schoolage children had cloacal exstrophy and 2 schoolage children had primary epispadias. Total urogenital complex mobilization involved treatment of the urethra and vagina as a single unit. Complete disassembly of the pelvic diaphragm or floor anterior to the rectum was required to reposition the urethra and vagina to their proper anatomical positions in the perineum. The pelvic diaphragm was then reconstructed anterior to the urogenital complex to recapitulate the normal female pelvic floor anatomy. Results: All patients have an anatomically correct position of the urogenital complex. All the vaginas reached the perineum without the need for skin flaps. All patients have adequate vaginal caliber without evidence of stenosis. Conclusions: The female with exstrophy/epispadias has unique anatomical defects in the urogenital complex that require special attention. Anterior displacement of the bladder, urethra and vagina with concomitant lack of development of the anterior pelvic floor musculature make a single stage, total urogenital complex mobilization repair ideal for this population. The results of this technique have been functionally and cosmetically pleasing. Whether repositioning the urogenital complex into the normal anatomical position will improve bladder dysfunction and urinary continence rates, and decrease or eliminate the need for future surgery will only be known after further long-term followup has been completed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1035-1039
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3 II
StatePublished - Sep 1 2000


  • Bladder exstrophy
  • Epispadias
  • Female
  • Prolapse
  • Vagina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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