During the last 7 years 19 patients underwent 33 transurethral injections of glutaraldehyde cross-linked bovine collagen into the bladder neck for stress incontinence. Of the 15 patients 14 have classic bladder exstrophy, 3 have complete male epispadias and 2 have cloacal exstrophy. The procedure was performed after a Young-Dees-Leadbetter bladder neck reconstruction in 15 patients and before it in 4. Injections were repeated in 10 patients after a mean of 12 months. After a mean followup of 26 months (range 9 to 84) improvement of continence was noted in 10 of 19 patients (53 percent) of whom 4 have significant improvement. Of the 8 patients whose condition failed to improve after collagen injections 6 underwent additional successful surgery to achieve urinary continence. Of the 10 patients who underwent repeated collagen injections 9 (90 percent) had additional improvement. Although there were no complications related to the injected collagen itself, postoperative complications developed in 2 patients. Submucosal injection of collagen to the bladder neck is simple and safe, and has a reasonable success rate. Thus, it may be used to improve continence in patients with the exstrophy/epispadias complex who lack full control after appropriate reconstructive surgery.
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