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Bladder exstrophy is a rare, complex birth defect involving the urinary, reproductive and intestinal tracts, as well as the musculoskeletal system. During a baby’s development in the womb, the abdominal wall and underlying organs sometimes do not fuse properly, and the infant is born with the bladder inside out and exposed on the outside of the body.
Bladder exstrophy usually involves several systems within the body, including the urinary tract, reproductive tract (external genitalia) and pelvic skeletal muscles and bones. In rare cases, intestinal tracts are involved.
Bladder exstrophy can result in weakened abdominal muscles and a shorter than average urethra and vagina or penis. It can cause a variety of complications and problems, including incontinence, catheterization, reflux, infertility and the need for repeated reconstructive surgery. It may be associated with urinary incontinence and back up of urine from the bladder to the kidneys, called vesicoureteral reflux.
The Boston Children's Hospital Bladder Exstrophy Program is dedicated to providing exceptional pediatric care and support to our young patients and their families.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”