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One-stage combined delayed bladder closure with Kelly radical soft-tissue mobilization in bladder exstrophy: preliminary results.

BACKGROUND: The radical soft-tissue mobilization (RSTM, or Kelly repair) is an anatomical reconstruction of bladder exstrophy generally performed as a second part of a two-step strategy, following successful neonatal bladder closure.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to determine the feasibility of a combined procedure of delayed bladder closure and RSTM in one stage without pelvic osteotomy, in both primary and failed initial closure.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: From 11/2015 to 01/2018, 27 bladder exstrophy patients underwent combined bladder closure with RSTM by the same surgical team at four cooperating tertiary referral centers for bladder exstrophy, including 20 primary repairs (delayed bladder closure, median age 3.0m [0.5-37m]) and seven secondary repairs after failed attempt at neonatal closure, median age 10m [8-33m].

INTERVENTION: RSTM included full mobilization of the bladder plate, urogenital diaphragm, and corpora cavernosa from the medial pelvic walls, followed by anatomical reconstruction with antireflux procedure, bladder closure, urethrocervicoplasty, muscle sphincter approximation, and penile/clitoral reconstruction.

OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: The main criteria were bladder dehiscence or prolapse. Secondary outcomes included bladder neck fistula or urethral fistula, urethral stenosis, and parietal hernia. Continence and voiding have not been addressed at this stage.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: All bladder exstrophy cases were successfully closed without osteotomy, with no case of bladder dehiscence after 12 m [3-30] follow-up.

COMPLICATIONS: Urethral fistula or stenosis occurred in eight patients: 4/5 fistulae closed spontaneously in less than 3 months; four urethral stenoses were successfully treated with 1-3 sessions of endoscopic high-pressure balloon dilatation or meatoplasty; one patient with persistent bladder neck fistula is currently awaiting repair. Although the follow-up is short, it does allow examination of the main outcome criterion, namely bladder dehiscence, which is usually expected to happen very early after surgery.

CONCLUSION: The Kelly RSTM can be safely combined with delayed bladder closure without osteotomy in both primary and redo cases in classic bladder exstrophy.

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