DIAGNOSING NEUROGENIC BLADDER
If you are referred to one of Chesapeake Urology’s neurogenic bladder specialists, your physician will begin by taking a comprehensive medical history and perform a physical exam. This typically includes performing studies on the bladder due to nervous system disorders. Your doctor will also order a series of diagnostic tests that thoroughly exam the bladder and overall function including:
- Urodynamic studies, or bladder function tests, are complex studies that help to determine bladder over-activity, bladder muscle contractility, obstruction during voiding and relaxation of sphincter muscles, which allows leakage during activity. It is a total investigation of bladder function, or lack thereof.
- A cystoscopy uses a small cystoscope (telescope) to view inside the urethra and bladder
- Imaging studies of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra and sometimes of the brain and spine may include CT scan, X-ray, ultrasound or MRI
Treating Neurogenic Bladder
Chesapeake Urology's neuro-urologists understand the complexities of this condition and its relationship to other neurological conditions. Following comprehensive diagnostic testing, they will develop a treatment plan to help minimze the effects of your condition. This is to prevent additional medical complications from arising and determine the best course of action based on your dysfunction.
Treatment options for neurogenic bladder include:
- Medication - medications used to treat overactive bladder, including anticholinergics or Beta-3 agonists as well as alpha blockers can help alleviate urinary symptoms. Certain antidepressants can help reduce muscle contractions and spasms.
- Timed voiding - usually done for people who have sensation and are able to empty the bladder.
- Clean Intermittent Catheterization (CIC) - Patients can learn how to insert catheters into the bladder to drain urine.
- Neuromodulation devices
- Surgery which includes:
- Cystoscopy with botox injections, one of the primary FDA-approved procedures for treating neurogenic bladder
- Artificial sphincters and sphincterotomy
- Superpubic tube insertion
- Bladder augmentation
- Urinary diversion
- Lifestyle and behaviorial modification -
- Controlled, monitored fluid intake
- Adherence to physician recommendations for bladder management
- Pelvic floor muscle exercises, depending on severity of your condition
The goal of any treatment program for neurogenic bladder is to preserve the kidneys and the bladder, which improves quality of life.