While female epispadias is a rare congenital anomaly, the treatment of complete epispadias in the female patient does not significantly differ from that of their male counterparts, although the female defect can be overlooked as a cause of incontinence. Attention must be given to the creation of an adequate urethral channel so that an adequate bladder capacity can be achieved and eventual bladder neck plasty can be performed. Finally, attention must be given to the reconstruction of the external genital defect. During the last 7 years 11 female patients with complete epispadias were treated. Of these patients 4 were referred from elsewhere and 3 had failed a previous procedure (2 had recently undergone external genital and urethral reconstruction, 1 underwent urinary diversion after multiple failed bladder neck procedures). Nine patients underwent bladder neck plasty: 5 are completely continent day and night, 3 are dry for greater than 3 hours during the day, and 1 is dry for only 1 to 3 hours during the day and wet at night, for an overall continence rate of 87.5%. Our experience with these patients has taught us that the bladder in this condition is much like that found in complete male epispadias. Therefore, creating a urethral outlet with sufficient length and resistance along with simultaneous reconstruction of the external genitalia allows for bladder regrowth, thus, facilitating achievement of greater volumes and bladder neck reconstruction with an excellent chance of success.
- urinary incontinence
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