At 10 years, she was wearing diaper to school. She could make no friends in fear that everyone will make fun of her on realizing her problem. Urinary incontinence was not just a health issue for little Reena (name changed), the issue had left her tormented mentally. Although she was good in her studies, the problem of urine incontinence was impacting her mentally.
Reena was born with Myelomeningocele, a type of spina bifida which also led to the problem of urine incontinence. She underwent a surgery when she was just 8 days old.
“At that time after proper physiotherapy, her condition improved. However, the problem of incontinence persisted. She would still get regular fevers and headaches, once in a while and the problem of incontinence had started affecting her both physically and mentally,” said Reena’s mother.
Finally, when she was 10-years-old her parents took her to Dr. Mukunda Ramachandra, Consultant – Pediatric Surgery/Urologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Whitefield.
“We conducted MCU and UDS tests on the baby. These tests showed that her kidneys were beginning to be affected because of the urine incontinence problem, and the urinary bladder walls have also become thick. The bladder had distorted in shape,” said Dr Mukunda.
After repeated consultation with Dr. Mukunda, Reena’s parents’ decided to go ahead with Bladder Neck Reconstruction Surgery, Mitrofanoff Process. The Mitrofanoff procedure is a surgical procedure in which the appendix is used to create a conduit between the skin surface and the urinary bladder.
It was a 10 hour long surgery. “We conducted bladder neck reconstruction, Mitrofanoff process and the size of the baby’s urinary bladder increased which had become small because the walls had become thick. The operation was successful and after 1 week of keeping Reena under observation in the ICU and 2 weeks in the General Ward, little Reena was fully cured,” said Dr. Mukunda.
“According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, each year around 1500 babies are born with spina bifida. It’s important to treat the problem of incontinence on time, as later on most of the kids suffering with this issue, it also affects their kidneys in the long term and are required to undergo kidney transplant. For a successful transplant, it is important to treat the problem of incontinence first and make the bladder stable,” added the doctor.
After getting discharged from the hospital proper follow ups were done. The parents were advised on the diet of their daughter, and proper doses of the medicines. Also, Manimala should try to avoid getting any urinary tract infections (UTI), etc. She’s doing perfectly fine and has gone back to enjoy a normal childhood.