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Management of bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction 

Management of bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction
Management of bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction

Ulrich Mehnert


May 26, 2016: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.

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date: 29 July 2021

This chapter provides an overview of the pathophysiological basis of bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction, relevant therapy principles, and treatment options. These dysfunctions are frequent sequelae of neurotrauma and neurodegenerative diseases that require adequate management and treatment. Knowledge of basic neurophysiological and pathophysiological processes involved is important for understanding and interpretation of clinical symptoms and findings and for understanding current treatment concepts. Treatment is mandatory and therapy options range from simple conservative measures to major surgery. The main therapeutic principles include protection of kidney function, reduction of urinary and/or faecal incontinence, independent management of bladder and bowel function, ability to sustain a satisfactory sexual relationship, fertility support, and improvement of quality of life. To comply with such principles and to select, initiate, maintain, and eventually adapt the ‘optimal’ treatment regimen for each patient requires a specialized multidisciplinary team.

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