Reconstruction of the external genitalia in females with bladder exstrophy

M. A. Damario, S. E. Carpenter, H. W. Jones, J. A. Rock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: A very characteristic genital anomaly accompanies bladder exstrophy in females. This includes anterior displacement and narrowing of the vagina and separation of the clitoris into two distinct bodies. The authors have had a relatively large experience with correction of this rare genital anomaly. From this experience, it began to appear that certain procedural details were associated with improved outcomes. The objective of this article was to review this experience and detail the reconstruction of the external genitalia in these patients. METHODS: All cases of bladder exstrophy in females presenting from January 1, 1970 to December 31, 1992 were reviewed. A total of eight patients who underwent surgical correction of the external genitalia were included. Data was obtained regarding urologic treatment, associated anomalies, corrective gynecologic procedures, complications and subsequent course. RESULTS: Corrective gynecologic surgery included enlargement of the vaginal orifice in all eight patients. Five patients had reapproximation of the bifid clitoris. Three patients performed postoperative dilatation therapy. Postoperatively, one patient experienced dyspareunia requiring a repeat procedure to enlarge the vaginal orifice. No patient had complications related to pelvic organ prolapse. CONCLUSIONS: Care should be taken not to extend the perineal incision too far posteriorly in reconstruction of the external genitalia in females with bladder exstrophy. Failure to do so may further predispose the patient to uterine prolapse. Postoperative dilator therapy may be an important adjunctive technique.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1994


  • Bladder exstrophy
  • Uterine prolapse
  • Vulvovaginoplasty


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