Understanding Urological Care of Children with Spina Bifida

Urology for children with Spina Bifida has changed, and is now less reactive to incontinence issues. The emphasis today is on early catherization and preventive treatment to preserve both kidney and bladder function.

When a child with Spina Bifida continually gets urinary tract infections (UTIs), they must undergo testing to identify the primary cause or causes of these infections. These children are managed similar to those with normal or typical bladder function, for example, with antibiotics, frequent urine tests, and regular bladder checks.

According to the Spina Bifida Association studies show using catheterization, antibiotics and anticholinergics helps resolve bladder reflux in more than 50 percent of children with Spina Bifida, with a reduction in the severity of the infection in another 30 to 40 percent. Children with repeated infections despite adequate antibiotics and a good bladder-emptying regimen sometimes require surgery. In those instances, the success rate mirrors children with typical bladder function: there are improvements roughly 96 to 98 percent of the time.

Because there now is an emphasis on mainstreaming children with Spina Bifida into normal school and social situations, it is very important for bladder and bowel function to be controlled before the start of school. If a child is not catheterized before attending school, doctors often will study the best means of tackling incontinence. In these cases, medications often are given to lower bladder pressure and increase capacity, and to raise urethral resistance to prevent leaking. Success rates for achieving continence range as high as 65 percent.

For more information, visit Spina Bifida Association’s resource page on the topic at https://www.spinabifidaassociation.org/resource/urologic-care/.

*Disclaimer: Any health and wellness content presented is for general informational purposes only. Such content is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.