What is the prognosis of bladder dysfunction?

Updated: Jan 04, 2019
  • Author: Gregory T Carter, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Elizabeth A Moberg-Wolff, MD  more...
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The prognosis for recovery depends on the type, severity, and location of the lesion causing the bladder problem and can be organized by dysfunctions that are permanent, dysfunctions that resolve with treatment of the condition, and dysfunctions that require medical and/or surgical intervention.

Permanent bladder dysfunction includes those patients with complete transaction of the spinal cord. These individuals remain on intermittent or indwelling catheterization for the rest of their lives.

Causes of temporary, syndromic urinary incontinence include polyneuropathy secondary to vitamin B-12 deficiency. This improves with nutritional correction.

Patients with upper motor neuron lesions (eg, strokes, MS, and spinal cord pathology) may have to depend on medications for the rest of their lives, although some degree of recovery may be expected. Those with anatomic derangements like pelvic floor weakness may find symptomatic improvement with surgical correction.

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