Surgical therapy of neurogenic detrusor overactivity (hyperreflexia) in paraplegic patients by sacral deafferentation and implant driven micturition by sacral anterior root stimulation: methods, indications, results, complications, and future prospects

Part of the Acta Neurochirurgica Supplements book series (NEUROCHIRURGICA, volume 97/1)


Spinal cord injured patients with a suprasacral lesion usually develop a spastic bladder. The neurogenic detrusor overactivity (NDO) and the overactive external sphincter cause incontinence and threaten these patients with recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI), renal failure and autonomic dysreflexia. All of these severe disturbances may be well managed by sacral deafferentation (SDAF) and implantation of a sacral anterior root stimulator (SARS). Since September 1986 to December 2002, 464 paraplegic patients (220 females, 244 males) received a SDAF-SARS. The SDAF was done intradurally in almost all cases, which means that we used a single operation field to do a two-stages procedure (SDAF and SARS). The results include data on 440 patients with a mean follow-up of 8.6 years (18 months to 18 years) until December 2004. The complete deafferentation was successful in 95.2%. Of these patients, 420 paraplegics use the SARS for voiding, (frequency 4.7 per day) and 401 for defecation (frequency 4.7 per week). Continence was achieved in 364 patients (83%). UTIs decreased from 6.3 per year preoperatively to 1.2 per year postoperatively. Kidney function remained stable. Early complications were 6 CSF leaks and 5 implant infections. Late complications included receiver or cable failures and required surgical repair in 44 patients. A step-by-step program for trouble-shooting distinguishes implant failure from myogenic or neurogenic failure. SDAF is able to restore the reservoir function of urinary bladder and makes the patient achieve continence. Autonomic dysreflexia disappeared in most cases. By accurate adjustment of stimulation parameters, it is possible for the patient to have a low resistance micturition. The microsurgical technique requires intensive education. In addition, the therapist should be able to manage late complications.


Sacral deafferentation (SDAF) paraplegia sacral anterior root stimulation SARS detrusor overactivity micturition 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Klinik für Neuro-UrologieWerner-Wicker-KlinikBad WildungenGermany

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