WHAT IS NEUROGENIC BLADDER?
Neurogenic bladder is a condition where the problems associated with the nervous system affect the bladder and urination. The nervous system can be affected as a result of diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, etc.
SYMPTOMS OF NEUROGENIC BLADDER
Symptoms can vary and include urinary frequency, urgency, passing out small volumes of urine during voiding, Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), dribbling urine and loss of feeling or sensation that the bladder is full.
DIAGNOSING NEUROGENIC BLADDER
Some diagnostic tests for this condition may include imaging of the brain and spine, ultrasound scans, CT scans, cystoscopy, bladder diary / frequency volume chart and a urodynamic test.
TREATMENTS FOR NEUROGENIC BLADDER
Treatments for neurogenic bladder vary according to the underlying issues i.e. retention or overactivity. Typically, treatment starts from non-invasive and moves onto invasive therapies. Conservative measures such as bladder retraining, double voiding, and some dietary changes like avoiding foods and drinks that may irritate the bladder. These can include coffee, tea, alcohol and spicy foods. Should the issue be an inability to fully empty the bladder e.g. retention, urinary catheters may be required to draw out the excess urine.
Medications for neurogenic Overactive Bladder (OAB) can also help should this be the main issue. Minimally invasive options like injections with Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) and electrical nerve stimulation are also treatment options. Nerve stimulation is similar to acupuncture and consists of 2 types: Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS) and Sacral Nerve Stimulation (SNS). As a last resort, Surgery can be done to increase the bladder capacity. This involves using a portion of the bowel to replace a portion of your bladder. However, this surgery is only recommended in cases of severe urgency incontinence that has failed to respond to other minimally invasive treatments.