In the last 13 years splitting the pubic symphysis has been used in 46 patients 1 to 32 years old for wide access to the bladder neck and entire urethra in female, or the bladder neck and urethra down into the bulb in male patients. Each patient had a complex problem to reconstruct and most had undergone a prior operation. Underlying pathological conditions included exstrophy in 16 patients, epispadias in 11, cloacal exstrophy in 6, posterior urethral valves in 3, severe trauma in 2, bilateral single ectopic ureters in 2, radical surgery for sarcoma in 2, myelodysplasia in 2, cloacal anomaly in 1 and iatrogenic injury of the urethra in 1. The pubis, or interpubic ligament in exstrophy cases, was divided in the midline. The pubic rami were spread with a laminectomy spreader to create a gap sufficient to operate on that segment of the urethra, which is usually not accessible with an intact pubis. No patient had a problem of nonunion or pubic osteitis after using this approach. This series includes 2 patients undergoing simultaneous iliac osteotomies for a widened symphysis pubis. In no patient was a segment of pubis resected, as has been used in transpubic repair of certain traumatic urethral strictures.
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