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“The Bladder Control System gave my life back to me”Amanda Boxtel
 
“My bladder does not dominate my life anymore”.
Jo Wright
 
“I can’t remember when I last had a UTI” Lesley
 
"The number of infections that I have had since implanting this device can be counted on the fingers of one hand" Martin

 

Finetech Medical News Blog

24

The urinary system plays three major functions in the human body: the kidneys filter waste products from the body to make urine; the urine then moves through the ureters to the bladder which stores the urine that is then released from the body through the urethra.

The bladder is made up of detrusor and sphincter muscles that relax and expand, aiding in the discharge of urine. Spinal cord injury can affect bladder control. This is because the nerves responsible for communicating to and from the brain to indicate when the bladder is full are located at the base of the spinal cord. Bladder control with spinal cord injury can be a difficult but manageable situation.

There are often two conditions that can characterize bladder control with spinal cord injury: flaccid (floppy) bladder and a hyperactive (reflex) bladder. For a flaccid bladder, no trigger is detected by the nerves responsible for bladder control and therefore no message reaches the brain. The result is that the bladder fills and the urine starts to back up the ureters and towards the kidneys. The retraction of the urine up the ureters can lead to kidney failure as well as a complicated and expensive to manage urinary tract infection.

In extreme cases, it increases the odds of kidney and bladder stones forming. In addition, the overly extended bladder begins to permanently distort the contraction and relaxation state of the bladder since the bladder itself is built from muscle tissue. One of the more practical forms of treatment for a flaccid bladder is ICP. In addition, where one has this condition, he or she should never allow the collection of more than 400cc of urine in the bladder which is reasonably below the capacity of an adult's bladder.

The second type of problem that you can experience in bladder control with spinal cord injury is a reflex bladder. In effect, this problem is almost the opposite of the flaccid bladder. In this instance, section of the spinal cord (and therefore the nerves) affected is such that the bladder muscles do open and release the urine but you have no control over the process. This means that you can pass urine at anytime and anywhere, which can be rather disconcerting. Just like a flaccid bladder, a reflex bladder can be treated with ICP. Other bladder management options for a reflex bladder are a condom catheter and an indwelling catheter.

A reflex bladder will be caused when damage to the spine is above the T12 level whereas the flaccid bladder will be as a result of damage to the T12/L1 section and below. Before recommending any particular treatment method for bladder control with spinal cord injury, a doctor will first perform a test to establish the exact nature of the injury and see what particular bladder function is impaired.

Our product, the Finetech Brindley Bladder Control System (branded VOCARE in the US), is amongst several options to consider when choosing a treatment for bladder/bowel management following a complete spinal injury. The Bladder Control System is a more permanent solution to this problem.

Learn more about bladder control after a spinal cord injury.

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