What is a neurogenic bladder?
Some children are born with or develop bladders that do not function properly. These children may have a history of myelomeningocele (spina bifida), have had a traumatic spinal injury, were born with bladder exstrophy (bladder open face at the skin) or have had a congenital bladder obstruction. These patients often have urinary incontinence and may develop dilatation of their ureters and kidneys.
How is this managed?
Management of children or adolescents with neurogenic bladder conditions is individualized to each patient and their parents. Our main goals are to preserve function of the kidneys and then to obtain full urinary continence in between urinating, which is most often assisted with catheterizations if catheterization is required. In those individuals in which we have fully maximized their medical management and clean intermittent catheterization skills and they remain wet or are having progressive dilatation of their ureters or kidneys, we encourage moving ahead to surgical intervention to optimize their condition.
What is the treatment?
Overall, we can offer children or adolescents with neurogenic bladders a wide array of successful options to both preserve their renal function and gain urinary as well as fecal continence. All treatment plans are individualized for each patient starting with the most conservative measures first then advancing as necessary to achieve the goals desired.