Cloacal exstrophy

Below you will find more information about Cloacal exstrophy from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Cloacal exstrophy it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Cloacal exstrophy and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Cloacal exstrophy comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Cloacal exstrophy is a rare although severe birth defect where most of the abdominal organs, including the bladder and intestines, are exposed. The condition is named so, because the cloaca refers to the area in the embryo which eventually forms into the lower abdominal wall structures. When a child is born with cloacal exstrophy, a part of the large intestines is located outside of the body, and on one side lies the bladder in halves. In males, it occurs that the penis is short and flat, and sometimes cut in half; while with females, the clitoris is also cut in half. The condition may also result in two vaginal openings.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of cloacal exstrophy can be done even prior to birth. Fetal ultrasound of the baby can determine the condition, but other procedures will be done when the infant is born. These other procedures include a computerized tomography scan, also known as a CT scan; magnetic resonance imaging or MRI, an abdominal ultrasound, and an endoscopy.

Treatment

Surgery can treat patients who have cloacal exstrophy. The surgery will depend on the type of condition the child has, but the surgeries are usually several and last over a span of a few years. This type of surgery is called staged reconstruction. The earliest type of surgery that will be performed is just 24-48 hours after labor.

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