Pediatric Urologist NYC – The bladder is a hollow organ located in your lower abdomen. It’s responsible for storing urine until it gets full and, after that, it must empty completely without any leakage. Normally, your bladder depends on several muscles working together to hold urine and then release it when you go to the bathroom. Your brain controls all these muscles by sending messages through the nerves in your lower spinal cord. If these nerves are damaged (either by illness or injury), your brain won’t be able to communicate with your bladder (and vice versa), and your bladder becomes paralyzed. In other words, you don’t have any control when you urinate… and this causes you to urinate too much or not enough (both of which have harmful consequences on your health).
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The most serious problem arising from not being able to empty your bladder is kidney damage. In normal conditions, the kidneys make urine, and the urine travels to the bladder through small tubes called ureters. If the bladder is full and can’t store more urine, pressure starts building up in the kidneys, damaging the microscopic blood vessels in the kidneys and progressively impairing your child’s ability to clean and filter blood. In addition, urine may also go back up the ureters (this is called urinary reflux) and bladder infections will spread to the kidneys. Besides, residual urine left in the bladder makes germs and bacteria thrive and grow, causing a urinary tract infection.
The most common causes of Neurogenic Bladder in children are Spina Bifida (incompletely bone closure of the spinal cord during early fetal development), spinal cord injuries, and central nervous system tumors.
There are several treatment options available for this condition, and there’s a high probability your child will be able to control their bladder by school age (so your child won’t need to wear diapers or training pants while going to school… and will avoid the embarrassment and urinary tract infections caused by this condition):
- Clean Intermittent Catheterization (CIC): In order prevent infections and reduce pressure on the bladder and kidneys, a small tube (called catheter) is used to drain urine out of the bladder on a regular schedule.
- Medication: Prescription drugs can reduce or enhance muscle contractions. Examples of these medications are Tolterodine (Detrol ®) and Oxybutynin Chloride (Ditropan ®).
- Surgery: While most children will be able to stay dry with a combination of CIC and medication, some of them will need surgery. Available procedures include placement of an artificial sphincter, bladder augmentation, and sphincter resection.
If you suspect that your child suffers from a neurogenic bladder, an experienced pediatric urologist should be seen. Dr. Grace Hyun is a board certified urologist who specializes in pediatric urology. If you are in need of a Female Pediatric Urologist Manhattan, Top pediatric urologist New York, Pediatric Urologist New York, or Pediatric Urologist Manhattan, contact Dr. Grace Hyun.