What is a bladder stimulator?

A bladder stimulator is an implant with which the nerves of the bladder and bowel can be stimulated directly, enabling the bladder and bowel to be emptied. It can only be used on people with a complete spinal cord injury and spastic cystoparalysis.

How does a bladder stimulator work?

Signals are sent externally to an implanted receiver (D) using a controller (A), stimulating the nerves of the bladder and bowel (F). The signals cause the bladder muscle to contract and the sphincter muscle to relax. This enables the bladder to be emptied.

What to do in the event of complications

What do I need to do if no urine comes out? Check that the panel of the controller is sitting on correctly and that the controller is also properly charged. If this still doesn’t work, a different technique will have to be used temporarily to empty the bladder. The bladder can be emptied by means of intermittent catheterisation, or a permanent catheter may be fitted. Contact your urologist to resolve the problem.

Equipment care

Check the charge level (battery level indicator in percent) every day. Charge the device whenever necessary.

It is important that you take your charger with you on trips, as well as to consider whether you will need an adapter for charging. Newer devices (black) do not require an adapter for adjusting the voltage, although they may require a socket adapter. The old devices (grey) are more likely to require an adapter more frequently – the voltage may have to be switched to 110V.

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A bladder stimulator is a foreign body. Am I able to have an MRI examination? Or go on a plane?

Yes, the new generation of MRI scanners from 1.0 Tesla onwards are not a problem. When you pass through an airport, the receiver panel on the bladder stimulator may be picked up during scanning. It is advisable to have documentation with you.

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