As a parent, it can be difficult to know when your child may be experiencing a temporary urological issue or when bladder problems might be a sign of another illness. Rio Grande Urology’s pediatric care team is here to help. In some cases, urological issues in children can be easily treated, but they may also be signs of another issue, such as a neurogenic bladder.
A neurogenic bladder occurs when there is a breakdown in communication between the nerves and the muscles in the bladder. It can often arise in children with spinal cord issues but can also result from infections, diabetes, or other genetic nerve problems. RGU’s pediatric urologist, Dr. Alfonso Latiff, works closely with families to help monitor the risk of neurogenic bladder, as well as provide treatment and management for children diagnosed with it.
Symptoms of a neurogenic bladder
Children with neurogenic bladders may experience any number of urological symptoms that can sometimes look like other health conditions. That’s why it’s so important to meet with a urologist if your child is experiencing any of the following:
- Urinary incontinence (inability to control urine)
- Frequent need to urinate
- Loss of feeling when the bladder is full
- Urinary tract infections (UTI)
- Kidney stones
If left untreated, these symptoms can lead to more severe complications, such as infection of the bladder, ureter, or kidneys, as well as risk of kidney damage.
That’s why it’s best to start monitoring a child’s urological health early, noted Dr. Latiff. This is especially true for children with spinal cord issues who are at higher risk for a neurogenic bladder. “Many kids have this condition just ‘managed,’ but we evaluate the children from the time they are born,” he said. Through early awareness and paying close attention to urological health, a neurogenic bladder can be caught and treated early.
Treating a neurogenic bladder
Receiving a neurogenic bladder diagnosis for your child can be overwhelming, but rest assured that it can be treated! A neurogenic bladder can not be cured, but Dr. Latiff and the RGU team can help you identify the best treatment plan that can support your child as they continue to grow and develop.
Depending on your child’s symptoms and health history, there are several ways a neurogenic bladder can be treated, including:
- Antibiotics to fight any infections
- Insertion of a catheter to regularly empty the bladder
- Surgical options, such as placing a bladder neck sling or artificial sphincter to prevent urinary incontinence, removing kidney stones, or in some cases surgery to enlarge the bladder
In many cases, a combination of medication and catheterization are used to manage the symptoms of a neurogenic bladder. Your physician will work with you to closely monitor your child’s urological health and how they respond to the treatment and to determine whether surgery or other options are needed.
Early treatment is important, so don’t wait. If your child is experiencing urological issues or has been diagnosed with a neurogenic bladder, call us today to schedule an appointment. We want to help your child get the care they need to support their health and development.