Complications in adulthood for patients with paediatric genitourinary reconstruction

World J Urol. 2021 Apr;39(4):1029-1036. doi: 10.1007/s00345-020-03295-9. Epub 2020 Jun 11.


Background: Caring for adults with prior paediatric genitourinary reconstruction remains a challenge for adult providers. Reconstructions typically have occurred decades before; surgical records are not always available and patients and families may be unable to convey procedures performed. Spina bifida (SB) patients are vulnerable to cognitive decline which may compound these challenges. Changes in patient body habitus and loss of function may contribute to problems with previous reconstructions.

Methods: This is a non-systematic review of the literature and represents expert opinion where data are non-existent. This review focuses on the evaluation and management of complications arising from genitourinary reconstruction in congenital neurogenic bladder patients.

Results: Common complications experienced by congenital neurogenic bladder patients include recurrent urinary tract infection, incontinence of catheterizable channel and urinary reservoir as well as malignancy as this population ages. Preservation of renal function and prevention of urinary tract infection while optimizing continence are essential guiding principles in the care of these patients. Many of the recommendations, however, are gleaned from available data in the adult spinal cord patient (a more commonly studied population) or the paediatric urologic literature due to limited studies in adult management of such patients.

Conclusion: Close follow-up and vigilance is warranted to monitor for infectious, mechanical and malignant complications while optimizing preservation of the upper urinary tracts and patient quality of life.

Keywords: Cancer surveillance; Congenital; Genitourinary reconstruction; Neurogenic bladder; Urinary diversion; Urinary tract infection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female Urogenital Diseases / congenital
  • Female Urogenital Diseases / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Male Urogenital Diseases / congenital
  • Male Urogenital Diseases / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Urinary Bladder, Neurogenic / congenital*
  • Urinary Bladder, Neurogenic / surgery*
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures / methods