Chinese Doctor “Re-Routes” Nerves to Aid in Bladder Control

It's called the "Xiao Technique" - a system of re-routing of sensory nerves from the thigh to serve as bladder control function.  Over a period of six months to two years of nerve regeneration, 80% of the patients receiving this treatment began to have bladder control to pass urine on their own.

Once the operation is complete and the senses develop, a patient can control their urinary function by scratching or tapping their thigh.

This of course is a rather useful surgery for those who have no bladder control due to permanent ailments such as spina bifida as mentioned in the article from India.

I haven't heard of this before and this prompted me to do a little more research on the facts behind this incredible technology, as well as potential downfalls.  Here is some basic background:

Patients are required to be at least six (6) years of age for the surgery.  It's primarily given to those with Spina Bifida, and is being researched in several hospitals in the United States, where most U.S. doctors have studied directly under Dr. Xiao and his methods.   Dr. Xiao has been practicing and improving this surgery since the 1980's.  He has performed over 500 surgeries with an 80% success rate.

The process basically requires the re-routing of spinal nerves that can eventually regenerate to control both bladder and bowel function.

While this amazing procedure can wield benefits for the incontinent,it's not without risks. Aside from the typical complications of surgery (infections, anesthesia), it's a major operation that can hinder walking for at least a period of time.  The surgery involves connecting a lumber back nerve and attach it to the bladder nerve.  Since these nerves are responsible for walking and leg mobility, it's critical for patients to have physical therapy, and there is a risk that mobility will not return.

In all, these advancements are good news for those who are permanently incontinent due to spina bifida or other neurogenic bladder issues.  As this science progresses, this type of incontinence may no longer be permanent.