Purpose: Surgical treatment for neuropathic bowel and bladder has become an essential tool in maximizing the quality of life in patients with myelomeningocele. We present our results comparing results in patients who underwent total continence reconstruction of the urinary and gastrointestinal tracts to patients who underwent a separate or single operation. Materials and Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of all patients with myelomeningocele at our institution who underwent reconstruction with a cutaneous catheterizable urinary channel or Malone antegrade continence enema. We compared outcomes with regard to surgical revisions of the channel between patients who underwent the construction of each simultaneously, that is total continence reconstruction, to outcomes in those with a single channel or who underwent reconstruction at 2 or more operations. Results: Most of our patients underwent genitourinary and gastrointestinal reconstruction, and few desired surgical intervention for only a single system. We were unable to find any differences in the continence rate or stomal complications. However, patients who underwent staged reconstruction usually had significant secondary reasons for repeat surgery. Conclusions: Surgical success for urinary and fecal continence can be safely and effectively achieved through single or multiple procedures. However, because of shared pathophysiology, we believe that most patients benefit from intervention in the gastrointestinal and the genitourinary tract. Therefore, a major advantage of total continence reconstruction is avoidance of the morbidity of a second major surgical procedure.
- fecal incontinence
- reconstructive surgical procedures
- spinal dysraphism
- urinary diversion
ASJC Scopus subject areas