The role of external sphincterotomy for patients with a spinal cord lesion

A. Catz, Z. P. Luttwak, E. Agranov, J. Ronen, R. Shpaser, A. Paz, D. Lask, A. Tamir, E. Mukamel

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For the last three decades external sphincterotomy has been well accepted as a treatment for bladder outlet obstruction in patients with a spinal cord lesions. Recently, however, its value has been brought into question. To assess the current place of this procedure in the treatment of the neuropathic bladder of spinal origin, we studied the outcomes of sphincterotomy in 32 patients. Post-voiding residual urine volume decreased after surgery in 27 patients (84%), considerably in 22 (69%) of them. Clinical infection resolved in 14 out of 19 patients (74%), hydronephrosis disappeared in two out of three (66%), and vesicourethral reflux improved in three but of five (60%) and was cured in two (40%). Six of the patients (19%) were freed from catheterization, but two patients (6%) lost partial continence. Sphincterotomy is an important tool in the treatment of spinal patients with bladder outlet obstruction and should be considered when the proper indications exist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-52
Number of pages5
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


  • Bladder outlet obstruction
  • External sphincterotomy
  • Neuropathic bladder
  • Spinal cord lesion


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