Bowel & Bladder Issues after Spine Surgery

Category: Minimally Invasive Surgery, Surgery Recovery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

lumbar spineWhen a patient is experiencing bowel or bladder control loss, minimally invasive spine surgery can often be an effective treatment option for returning control to the patient. However, sometimes patients experience bowel and bladder issues after their minimally invasive spine procedure. Here, we will explain the various potential bladder and bowel issues that can impact a patient following a spine surgery, and offer tips for correcting these issues.

Spine Surgery & Bladder Control

Successful control of the bladder and bowels is dependent on the nerves in the spine. When certain spinal nerves are impinged, the patient may experience a loss of sensation or control of the bowels. Many minimally invasive spine procedures are used to correct this issue and return control to the patient. But these bladder or bowel control issues can also crop up after a spine surgery.

There is a risk of nerve damage in any spine surgery. Minimally invasive techniques have cut down on this risk significantly, but there is still the chance for bladder or bowel issues after surgery. When you have a skilled and experienced spine surgeon with a great track record of successful surgeries, this is usually not something to be overly concerned about.

Bowel issues most commonly crop up after spine surgeries that require the surgeon to enter through the abdomen (anterior procedures). In an anterior procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision in the abdomen area, and navigates through your internal organs to the spinal column. Patients often report bowel difficulties right after these surgeries. Typically these resolve on their own in a few days as the body gets back on the right track.

When to Contact your Physician

If you are having bowel or bladder issues after a spine procedure, contact your surgeon to determine if something is wrong. And if you are having bladder control issues without having surgery, you may have a spinal nerve condition that requires treatment from a spine specialist.

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