Indexed on: 02 Sep '06Published on: 02 Sep '06Published in: The Journal of Urology®
The efficacy of the artificial urinary sphincter to treat sphincteric incontinence in pediatric patients with spina bifida has been clearly reported. The possibility of maintaining spontaneous voiding has usually been the main reason for prosthetic device surgery. We reviewed our experience with the artificial urinary sphincter in patients without spina bifida who had had previous surgery of the bladder neck or proximal urethra.From 1990 to 2004, 112 children and adolescents underwent implantation of an AMS 800 artificial urinary sphincter. Of the patients 19 males and 4 females (20.5%) between ages 4 and 17 years (mean 8.1) had no spina bifida. Instead there were bladder exstrophy in 12 patients, anorectal malformation with a rectourethral or vesical fistula in 7 and epispadias in 4. A bladder neck cuff between 5.5 and 7.5 cm, and a 61-70 balloon were used in all patients.Only 1 patient was lost to followup. In 22 patients (95.6%) mean followup was 80 months (range 4 to 155). Three sphincters in patients with exstrophy were removed because of erosion and/or infection 5, 49 and 60 months after initial surgery, respectively. A total of 19 sphincters remained in place (86.3% survival rate) with 5 revisions (26.3%) because of the pump (2), the cuff (2) or balloon fluid leakage. In this group 13 patients (68.4%) voided spontaneously and 6 (31.6%) performed clean intermittent catheterization, although 3 also voided spontaneously. Overall continence was good in 87% of patients because 2 were still incontinent at night.The artificial urinary sphincter is a good long-term solution to urinary incontinence secondary to sphincter incompetence despite multiple previous surgeries of the bladder neck or proximal urethra. Patients with bladder exstrophy and many previous bladder procedures are more exposed to complications such as erosion compared with patients with epispadias or anorectal malformation. The high percent of patients maintaining spontaneous voiding and the good rate of continence are the most important benefits of this type of surgical option for sphincter incompetence.