How is cloacal exstrophy treated?
Cloacal exstrophy is treated through surgical repair after birth, usually in stages to address each defect. This requires an in-depth treatment plan to be created for your child's specific needs. The extent of cloacal exstrophy surgery required for your baby depends on the type and severity of his or her abnormalities.
In most cases, surgeons perform multiple operations over the course of several years. This approach, referred to as staged reconstruction, usually begins in the first days of life with the highest-priority procedure. Physicians usually repair the bladder, create a colostomy (an opening in the colon with an attached "bag" that allows stool to pass) and repair the abdominal wall defect.
Babies with spinal defects usually have them repaired sometime in the first few days of life. Later surgeries include urinary and genital reconstruction, as well as an operation to create a rectum and close the colostomy opening. There are no fetal interventions (surgical procedures while inside the uterus) for cloacal exstrophy.
Throughout this process, our staff helps prepare families to care for their baby at home. We also connect loved ones with support groups and other resources to help caregivers maintain their emotional and physical health.
What is the long-term outcome for babies with cloacal exstrophy?
Surgical techniques to treat this condition have improved dramatically in recent years, which means 90% to 100% of babies survive after surgery. Their quality of life and degree of need for ongoing care vary from case to case. Thanks to the advanced surgical techniques and experienced team at the Colorado Fetal Care Center, your baby will have the highest chances of living a healthy life. We'll be with you from day one to support you and your baby.
Choosing the Colorado Fetal Care Center for cloacal exstrophy treatment and support
The Colorado Fetal Care Center is a world leader in diagnosing and treating the defects associated with cloacal exstrophy. Alberto Pena, MD, a member of our team, is one of the most experienced pediatric surgeons in the world of cloacal exstrophy.