Female epispadias repair: a new 1-stage technique.
ABSTRACT Female epispadias is a rare anomaly. According to the literature it is usually treated with staged procedures, including bladder neck reconstruction, to achieve continence. We developed a 1-stage surgical technique that offers the possibility of achieving continence and a cosmetically normal appearance of the vulva.
We treated 4 patients 4 months to 8 years old. The main point of the technique is to free completely the urethral plate and bladder neck from surrounding tissue. After tubularizing the urethral plate into a urethra modified needle suspension brings the bladder neck and proximal urethra into the intra-abdominal position. The pelvic floor is then reconstructed between the anterior vaginal wall and urethra. Thus, continence may be attained by intra-abdominal positioning of the bladder neck and proximal urethra as well as by pelvic floor reconstruction.
Of our 4 consecutive cases of primary untreated epispadias the technique proved successful in 3, while followup is too short in 1. One patient is completely dry and voids without a further procedure. Postoperatively 2 patients with 5 years or more of followup required injection of a bulking agent at the bladder neck level to achieve continence, including 1 who is damp during the day without the need to change clothes and 1 on clean intermittent catheterization twice daily because post-void residual urine volume causes recurrent urinary tract infection.
The described technique is promising for treating this disabling anomaly.