The bladder is a balloon-shaped organ located in the lower belly. the bladder stores the urine produced by the kidney and then it goes out through the urethra. Bladder exstrophy is a complex are rare birth disorders that occur when the baby is in the womb. Bladder exstrophy is diagnosed before birth during in routine pregnancy ultrasound. This can include exposed bladder, defects in the bladder, genitals, urinary tract, abdominal muscles, pelvic bones, and reproductive organs. The skin, abdominal wall and underlying organs, and pelvic bones at the lower part of the belly are not fused properly so the bladder is exposed outside of the skin. This bladder cannot store urine because it is separated from the urethra.
Sometimes the condition is not clear in ultrasound. The disorder may involve other organs at various levels. Doctor checks the new-born for:
The signs and symptoms of bladder exstrophy depend on the conditions of disease the child is born with.
There is no clear cause of bladder exstrophy. Popular thinking is bladder defects could occur at the times of tissue development in the lower wall of the abdomen or cloacal membrane overdevelop in the fetus and prevent tissue development, growth of organs, and separation of the supportive lower abdominal wall structure. Some factors can also increase the risk of this disorder:
Bladder exstrophy is diagnosed during a fetal ultrasound or other imaging tests. Ultrasound shows if the baby's bladder is not filling and emptying. If bladder exstrophy is not clear in the unborn stage, it is visible after birth.
Bladder exstrophy is treated with reconstructive surgery and treatment started after the birth. The goals of reconstruction surgery are to:
After surgical repair of bladder exstrophy, long time follow-up care is necessary to ensure the bladder and kidneys are functioning normally and developing in a healthy way. Surgery is performed to optimize the child's outcome and improve quality of life.
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