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February 1972

Electromicturition in ParaplegiaImplantation of a Spinal Neuroprosthesis

Author Affiliations

Durham, NC
From the Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery (Drs. Nashold and Friedman), Division of Urology (Drs. Glenn and Grimes), and Department of Roentgenography (Dr. Barry), Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Arch Surg. 1972;104(2):195-202. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180020075015

There is a new experimental operation for the control of the paralyzed bladder in paraplegics. Four paraplegic patients (three males, one female) have undergone electrode implantation in the S1-S2 region of the conus medullaris. Electrical stimulation with a small battery-operated radio frequency stimulator and receiver has produced adequate emptying of the bladder every three to four hours in three of the patients. The males have required a sphincterotomy while the female has used the device for ten months with good emptying of the bladder. They are all now catheter free. Electronic activation of the spinal cord below the level of transection has also resulted in motor and autonomic responses such as sweating, piloerection, penile erection, and increase in skin temperature. The responses are controlled by the patient by carefully selecting the stimulus indexes.