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Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
     Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
Official journal of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons         
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 222-226

Multiple failed closure of bladder in children with vesical exstrophy: Safety and efficacy of temporary ileal patch augmentation in assisting bladder closure

1 Department of Neonatal and Pediatric Surgery, Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences, Calicut, Kerala; Department of Child and Adolescent Health, Baby Memorial Hospital, Calicut, Kerala, India
2 Department of Neonatal and Pediatric Surgery, Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences, Calicut, Kerala, India

Date of Web Publication30-Sep-2014

Correspondence Address:
Kolar Venkatesh Satish Kumar
Sai Sannidhi, Vadakkathuparamba, Off Minibypass Road, Govindapuram (PO), Calicut - 673 016, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9261.142014

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Objective: The surgical approach to small bladder template in exstrophy bladder is difficult. Previously, many of these children underwent ureterosigmoidostomy and in recent times, the trend is to do a delayed primary closure. We have used ileal patch as a temporary cover for these small bladders with a view to encourage bladder growth and early results are encouraging. Materials and Methods: In five of the 45 children with bladder exstrophy managed by radical soft-tissue mobilization over 10 years, primary bladder closure was not possible due to repeated failed closures. A detubularized ileum was used to patch the bladder initially and after 4 months the patch was excised and bladder closure with sphincter repair was done in second stage. Results: In five children (three girls and two boys) the mean age at initial bladder closure was 14 months and mean age at ileal patch was 22 months. In four patients, the bladder grew facilitating closure and in one patient it failed. There were no complications with the use of gut in patch. Conclusion: A temporary ileal patch seems promising in managing failed bladder closure in exstrophy patients. Long-term studies are needed before such a technique can be used in all patients with failed primary bladder closures.

Keywords: Bladder exstrophy, delayed primary bladder closure, failed primary bladder closure, radical soft-tissue mobilization, temporary ileal patch augmentation

How to cite this article:
Kumar KS, Mammen A, Varma KK. Multiple failed closure of bladder in children with vesical exstrophy: Safety and efficacy of temporary ileal patch augmentation in assisting bladder closure. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2014;19:222-6

How to cite this URL:
Kumar KS, Mammen A, Varma KK. Multiple failed closure of bladder in children with vesical exstrophy: Safety and efficacy of temporary ileal patch augmentation in assisting bladder closure. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Dec 9];19:222-6. Available from: https://www.jiaps.com/text.asp?2014/19/4/222/142014

   Introduction Top

Surgical care of bladder exstrophy starts immediately after birth and includes various staged procedures as well as one stage repair. Essentially with any procedure, the aim is to close the opened out bladder to make it a reservoir for urine storage and provide sufficient muscular outlet resistance to provide a voluntary continence mechanism. Occasionally, some bladders cannot be closed primarily due to small sized bladder template or repeated failed closures or occasionally due to late presentation. These bladders are thick and fibrosed with superimposed cystitis cystica making primary closure difficult and occasionally impossible. Under normal circumstances, it has been shown that such bladders grow in size with time and majority undergo a delayed primary closure, which usually succeeds. [1] The disadvantage of this technique is that the bladder may grow, but inflammation and fibrosis continues unabated and leaking open bladder during waiting period is challenging to parents. An ileal patch has been used as a temporary cover over small bladders in five patients and the results are encouraging. At the end of 4 months, the bladder could be closed after excising the bowel in four patients. These were the patients in whom repeated attempts at bladder closure had failed and further attempts at closure by routine were not possible.

   Materials and Materials Top

Forty-five children with exstrophy bladder were treated by two staged radical soft-tissue mobilization procedure over a period of 10 years from May 2001 to June 2010 in a tertiary care referral center. Five patients were included for temporary ileal patch cover who had repeated failures at primary bladder closure. In one patient, the bladder size was less than 3 cm at birth [Figure 1] and dehisced twice after closure. The remaining four patients were late referrals from other hospitals after multiple failures at bladder closure, so the data on the initial bladder size was not available. There were three girls and two boys with a mean age at initial bladder closure being 14 months and 5 days (2 days to 36 months). In one patient, the bladder was closed on day 2 of life and the rest of the patients had delayed initial bladder closure. Two patients had undergone osteotomy during initial bladder closure (done elsewhere). The mean age at ileal patch was 22 months (8-48 months). Mean age at 2 nd stage was 28 months and 3 days. At the time of ileal patch closure, the average size of the bladder was less than 3 cm and could not be invaginated under general anesthesia [Figure 2]. All patients who presented with small bladders at birth before any attempt at primary closure were excluded.
Figure 1: Very small bladder plate in a neonate. This child had complete dehiscence after two attempts at primary closure. A temporary ileal patch was successful

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Figure 2: Repeated attempts at bladder closure sometimes render them so small and fibrotic that primary closure is impossible. All the five patients in our series had such bladder, where primary closure was not possible

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Technique of ileal patch

Consent form was obtained for primary closure as well as application of patch before surgery. All children were operated under general anesthesia with caudal anesthetic block. Preoperatively standard preparation as for other bladder closures was used. Perioperative antibiotics were given and continued until the ureteral catheters was removed. No specific bowel preparation or prolonged fasting was used for the procedure. The ureters are intubated with 5Fr. Infant feeding tubes and anchored. After mobilizing the bladder from skin and rectus sheath, the peritoneum was deliberately opened just below the umbilicus [Figure 3]a. An appropriate sized ileal segment with intact mesentery away from the ileocecal junction is carefully isolated [Figure 3]b, detubularized by opening near the mesenteric border, cleaned with Betadine solution and was anastomosed full thickness to the mobilized bladder [Figure 3]c, the lower limit being just above the verumontanum. The lower end at the bladder neck was left open through which the ureteral catheters exited. Rectus muscle was closed in mid-line by mobilizing the medial margins of anterior rectus sheath. Skin closure was completed [Figure 3]d.
Figure 3

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Postoperatively the baby was nursed in trendelenburg position with immobilization of lower limbs, by strapping them together with pad and bandage for 48-72 h. This was to prevent tension on the mesentery. The baby was fasted until the bowel function returned. The ureteral catheters were removed after 5-7 days. The 2 nd stage was done after 4-6 months preceded by a cystoscopy. Before closure, all children were evaluated for renal function (Blood urea and serum creatinine, electrolyte disturbance, urine culture and renal tract ultrasound). In the 2 nd stage, the patch was excised along with margin of the bladder mucosa and bladder closure and sphincter repair was done as a single stage.

   Results Top
[Table 1]
Table 1: The characteristics of patients undergone ileal patch

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None of the patients had major acid base or electrolyte disturbance and urine was sterile before the 2 nd stage. Ultrasound was normal in all patients before 2 nd stage. At the end of 4 months in four patients, cystoscopy showed that the bladder had grown in size, with virtual absence of cystitis cystica and the bowel patch had become a diverticulum. This patch was excised. Bladder closure with epispadias repair and sphincter/levator approximation could be done as a single procedure and was successful in all four patients. In one patient, the bladder remained the same at 4 months and repeats cystoscopy twice after 3 months and 6 months showed small bladder and was unsuitable for 2 nd stage repair. He was counseled for a second attempt of patch closure, but parents opted for a permanent augmentation.

The follow-up after completion of sphincter repair was similar to the follow-up being used for conventionally managed children with renal tract ultrasound every 6 months, micturating cystourethrogram if needed, and assessment of continence at regular intervals. Functional assessment for continence was done when child reached 5 years of age. There were no complications related to use of bowel in these patients. No significant fluid and electrolyte disturbance were seen in any patient during follow-up. Minor complications were seen in four patients. Superficial wound dehiscence occurred in two patients after 2 nd stage, which healed with conservative management. One boy had a penopubic fistula which needed repair and one girl had vulval scarring which was repaired.

   Discussion Top

At birth, the exstrophic bladder is smooth, pliable, and most can be closed primarily, though the size of bladder template is variable. Small bladders eventually grow after closure. [2] In a child with small bladder plate it can be closed primarily with the hope that it grows with age and the 2 nd stage can be done later. The other option is to delay the closure for 6 months to 1 year and studies have shown that the bladder grows in size making closure possible. [3] In a series of 19 patients with a small bladder managed by delayed closure over 6 months, Dodson et al. [3] have reported that in nine patients, functional repair was possible (47%) and achieved continence; delay in closure did not decrease the need for augmentation, but achievement of functional continence was unaffected. However, the same may not be possible in patients in multiple redo closures and failed closures. In such cases, primary closure of the bladder is impossible as multiple attempts at closure may occasionally render it fibrotic and thickened.

As our institute being a major referral center for exstrophy management, over the past 10 years we came across five such children with very small fibrotic bladders who had multiple failed closures. Sparing a permanent augmentation we innovated a way to close these bladders by applying a patch of ileum temporarily. After 4 months, the bladder had grown in size, became more pliable and cystitis cystica had resolved [Figure 1]. In the 2 nd stage the bowel segment was excised, the bladder could be closed and the radical soft-tissue mobilization with sphincter repair and levatorplasty was completed. One patient showed no sign of bladder growth at 6 months after ileal patch.

The mechanism of ileal patch and bladder growth could be explained partly on the basis of changes seen in permanently augmented bladders. With an opened out bladder (as in unclosed exstrophy) there is no urine recycling and repeated inflammation due to exposure renders it fibrotic. With a patch, the urine recycling is maintained which is an impetus to bladder growth. Also with a closed bladder, inflammation and fibrosis is avoided. The bowel doesn't grow as much as bladder because of detubularization. It has been shown that ileal mucosal atrophy occurs due to prolonged exposure to urine [4],[5] and the vascularity to ileum may reduce. The net effect is bladder grows, becomes pliable and the bowel becomes a diverticulum [Figure 4].
Figure 4: Principles of ileal patch closure. The thickened trabeculated small sized bladder has grown in size, folded on itself and at the end of 4 months, the ileal patch has become a diverticulum. Note the communication between the two segments has become a small fibrotic ring and this was consistently seen in four of the five patients who underwent patch closure

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Individuals who have undergone augmentation cystoplasty and ileal conduit diversion are at increased risk for the late development of cancer with overall incidence of 1.5%. Adenocarcinomas develop at or near the enterourothelial junction. [6] While excising the bowel before bladder closure, we have ensured that sufficient margin of enterourothelial junction is also excised. We do not have data on whether a short period of exposure of the bladder to ileum, risks malignancy. A temporary ileal patch is a major procedure and is only used as a desperate measure to salvage a scarred fibrotic exstrophy bladder. Presently we would not recommend its use in a neonate with small exstrophy bladder without any attempts at primary closure or delayed primary closure.

   Conclusion Top

Native bladder is the best reservoir for urine storage. Small fibrotic bladder with repeated failures to achieve a primary closure should not be excised. A temporary bowel patch makes bladder closure possible by preventing further fibrosis and allowing bladder growth. Until further refinements in tissue engineering techniques of bladder regeneration are successful, a temporary bowel patch should be a viable option in managing such patients.

   References Top

1.Baradaran N, Stec AA, Schaeffer AJ, Gearhart JP, Mathews RI. Delayed primary closure of bladder exstrophy: Immediate postoperative management leading to successful outcomes. Urology 2012;79:415-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Mesrobian HG, Kelalis PP, Kramer SA. Long-term followup of 103 patients with bladder exstrophy. J Urol 1988;139:719-22.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Dodson JL, Surer I, Baker LA, Jeffs RD, Gearhart JP. The newborn exstrophy bladder inadequate for primary closure: Evaluation, management and outcome. J Urol 2001;165:1656-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Philipson BM, Höckenström T, Akerlund S. Biological consequences of exposing ileal mucosa to urine. World J Surg 1987;11:790-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Cetinel S, San T, Cetinel B, Uygun N, Hürdað C. Early histological changes of ileal mucosa after augmentation cystoplasty. Acta Histochem 2001;103:335-46.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Filmer RB, Spencer JR. Malignancies in bladder augmentations and intestinal conduits. J Urol 1990;143:671-8.  Back to cited text no. 6


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]

  [Table 1]

This article has been cited by
1 Editorial Comment: Anterior component separation technique for abdominal closure in bladder exstrophy repair: Primary results
Lisieux Eyer de Jesus, Atila Rondon
International braz j urol. 2022; 48(5): 867
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


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