A 13 year old girl was born with her bladder exposed to the surface of her abdomen, a condition known as “bladder exstrophy”. Her bladder was wide open, resulting in her being constantly wet with urine, giving her an awfully offensive body odour. She was unhappy at school and constantly teased by her school mates and as a result, became depressed. Any trip outside the home was an ordeal for her. And on top of this, she had previously had a major operation to try to fix her abnormality but it had been unsuccessful. This put great strain on her family who were finding the situation difficult to cope with. And so when we met her she was shy and embarrassed about her problem and had become withdrawn.
At operation, she was also found to have a blocked left ureteric opening, further complicating the complex surgery, and making a structural rearrangement also a lifesaving operation. The procedure involved fracturing the pelvis in four places, and performing complex bladder and bowel surgery using the bowel to enlarge the bladder and formation of a stoma to drain the new bladder. This was a major technique the surgeons in Cuba were grateful to learn and use on future patients.
The final outcome was a well girl post operatively who had catheters in her bladder for three weeks and plaster for six weeks. Yanebi can look forward to a life that requires artificial emptying of her bladder, but with the prospect of being continent without the degrading isolating odour of her childhood. She will be able to go out and enjoy life and social activities like any other teenager.