Neurogenic bladder (NGB) or neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NULTD) is a term used to describe problems with urine storage or bladder emptying due to a neurologic condition or injury. The symptoms of NULTD are wide-ranging including urinary incontinence, difficulty with bladder emptying, urinary retention, pelvic pain, urinary tract infections, and possible deterioration of kidney function.
NGB may result from injury or insult to any level of the spinal cord, brain or nerves that innervate the bladder that lead the bladder not to function properly. The diseases are many, including spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, stroke, , cerebral palsy, strokes, dementia, and Parkinson's Disease to name a few.
At the Center for Women's Pelvic Health we are fully equipped to evaluate women with NULTD including those with limited mobility. Some patients may require testing like urodynamics, cystoscopy, and renal ultrasound or CAT scans to evaluate the lower urinary tract and the kidneys.
The treatment for NGB is wide-ranging and individualized. Some patients may be treated conservatively ranging from medication, intermittent catheterization and in some cases surgery to reconstruct the lower urinary tract.
Surgery may be performed to expand the bladder capacity in a patient with NGB when all other treatments have failed. An augmentation cystoplasty is a procedure where a small portion of intestine is used to expand the bladder capacity. Another procedure that may be performed is a continent catheterizable stoma where a piece of bowel is used to expand the bladder capacity and a portion of that bowel may be tunneled towards the skin so urine may drain through the abdominal wall. These procedures are tailored to patients' individual needs.