Bladder and Cloacal Exstrophy Program

The Division of Urology at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago has provided care for patients with bladder exstrophy and cloacal exstrophy since its origin. Our program is led by Earl Cheng, MD, and Elizabeth Yerkes, MD, co-directors of reconstructive pediatric urology at Lurie Children’s. Combining the expertise of multiple surgeons with extensive experience in complex reconstructive genitourinary surgery provides a unique approach to tackle these complex conditions. Our ancillary and nursing staff have the breadth of experience to provide the necessary support for these patients and their families, such as catheterization training. In addition, we partner with other medical and surgical specialists to address all aspects of care as bladder and cloacal exstrophy patients need and deserve comprehensive, experienced, lifelong management.

Our exstrophy team provides care not just at Lurie Children’s but continues through adolescence and adulthood via a unique partnership with Northwestern Memorial Hospital, located just across the street in downtown Chicago. Recognizing the need for personal and uninterrupted care, Diana Bowen, MD, also holds an appointment at Northwestern to provide care that is fluid between both the pediatric and adult environment.

In addition to bridging care between our pediatric and adult hospital environment, we think an essential part of the mission to improve outcomes is collaboration with other pediatric hospitals. In a rare condition such as any type of exstrophy, it is imperative we work together to optimize surgical techniques and long-term medical management. Our collaborative with four other major pediatric institutions (Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, IN; Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN; Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio; and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH) allows us to combine our collective experience to improve surgical techniques in real-time while also allowing meaningful clinical research to be performed in the long-term.


Meet the Team

Earl Y. Cheng, MD

Division Head, Urology; Co-Head, Reconstructive Pediatric Urology; Founders’ Board Chair in Urology; President, Lurie Children's Surgical Foundation

Professor of Urology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Elizabeth B. Yerkes, MD

Attending Physician, Urology; Director of Neuro-urology; Co-Director of Reconstructive Pediatric Urology; Myles Michelon Endowed Chair in Urology; Member, Lurie Children's Surgical Foundation

Professor of Urology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Diana K. Bowen, MD

Attending Physician, Urology; Member, Lurie Children's Surgical Foundation

Assistant Professor of Urology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Joseph A. Janicki, MD

Attending Physician, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Jen Wolf, RN

Registered Nurse

Ilina Rosoklija, MD, MPH

Research Coordinator

Make an Appointment

To contact our program or make an appointment, call 312.227.6340

Bladder Exstrophy Research

The Division of Pediatric Urology at the Ann Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is actively engaged in research dedicated to improving functional outcomes of children with all forms of bladder exstrophy.

Exstrophy is a relatively rare condition and Lurie Children’s is a founding member of a multi-institutional collaboration to study all aspects of exstrophy to understand how we can deliver the best care possible. As such, our division is actively engaged with four other high-volume Midwest children’s hospitals as part of the Pediatric Urology Midwest Alliance (P.U.M.A.). Through this partnership, bladder and cloacal exstrophy are being actively studied in one of the most robust research platforms and registries to date.

Our team is dedicated to providing expert surgical care and to combine our collective experience to improve surgical outcomes. To accomplish this goal, members of each pediatric urology team travel to each other’s institutions to “coach” each other and give the highest level care to every child.

Clinical Studies

Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute is dedicated to transforming pediatric medicine through research. Our research team conducts clinical studies across all specialty areas to develop more effective treatments and find tomorrow’s cures.

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