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Beaumont Sees Results in Nation's 1st Urinary Nerve Rewiring Surgeries for Spina Bifida Patients
Date:4/17/2008

ROYAL OAK, Mich., April 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Seven children from across the United States are gaining bladder control through a revolutionary, first-in-the-nation nerve rerouting surgery for patients with spina bifida. The surgeries were conducted in 2007 at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.

The children previously required the insertion of a catheter to empty their bladder or endured significant incontinence. But as a result of the surgery, they are beginning to void on their own and are also seeing improvement in bowel function. Initially they signaled the bladder to urinate by scratching or pinching their leg or buttocks. But, remarkably, in most patients, the brain was able to take over and control urination normally.

This will allow them to attend school without being catheterized and to play with other children without the embarrassment of soiling themselves. It also means fewer urinary tract infections resulting from catheterization, and reduces their need for antibiotics for infection control.

"These are still considered early results but we are excited to see them," says Kenneth Peters, M.D., chairman of the Urology department at Beaumont, Royal Oak. "It's still too early to see results on the two adult patients with spinal cord injuries who also had the surgery."

Results of Dr. Peters' research on nerve rerouting surgery are to be presented in May at the American Urological Association annual meeting.

Local philanthropists J. Peter and Florine Ministrelli of West Bloomfield, Mich. underwrote the cost of the surgeries. They have also funded the Ministrelli Program for Urology Research and Education at Beaumont, which enables Beaumont to continue its leadership through the purchase of equipment, the expansion of education and research efforts and bringing innovative treatments to patients.

In spinal cord injury and spina bifida, the nerves that control the bladder and sphincter are dam
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SOURCE William Beaumont Hospital
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