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J Urol. 1999 Dec;162(6):2061-5.

Management of functional bladder neck obstruction in women: use of alpha-blockers and pediatric resectoscope for bladder neck incision.

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  • 1Department of Urology and Renal Transplantation, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.



Functional bladder neck obstruction has been definitively diagnosed in the last few years due to detailed synchronous pressure flow, electromyography and video urodynamics. Clean intermittent self-catheterization and bladder neck incision are the modalities of treatment. To our knowledge the role of alpha-blockers is not yet defined in women. A new technique was developed to perform bladder neck incision using a pediatric resectoscope.


A total of 24 women with obstructive voiding symptoms or retention were evaluated with video pressure flow electromyography, and diagnosed with functional bladder neck obstruction due to high pressure and low flow on silent electromyography and bladder neck appearance on fluoroscopy. Patients were initially treated with clean intermittent self-catheterization and alpha-blockers. Catheterization was stopped when post-void residual was less than 50 ml. and only alpha-blocker therapy was continued. Bladder neck incision was performed in patients who had a poor response to or side effects of alpha-blocker therapy, or when therapy was discontinued due to economic reasons. Clean intermittent self-catheterization was continued in patients who had a poor response to alpha-blockers or refused to undergo bladder neck incision. Bladder neck incision was performed in the initial 2 cases with an adult resectoscope using a Collin's knife and subsequently a pediatric resectoscope (13F). Uroflow and post-void residual measurements were performed in all cases.


Of the 24 patients 12 (50%) showed improvement in symptoms, peak flow and post-void residual (p <0.01) with alpha-blocker therapy only. Of the 12 patients who had a poor response to alpha-blockers 6 underwent bladder neck incision subsequently and 6 remained on clean intermittent self-catheterization. All 8 patients treated with bladder neck incision, including 2 who had a good response but discontinued alpha-blocker therapy, had sustained improvement in post-void residual and peak flow (p <0.01) after a mean followup of 3.8 +/- 2.4 years. Grade 1 stress incontinence in 2 adult resectoscope cases responded to conservative treatment. None of the pediatric resectoscope cases had stress incontinence.


Clean intermittent self-catheterization and alpha-blockers are the initial treatment options for functional bladder neck obstruction. The alpha-blockers were successful in 50% of our patients. Bladder neck incision should be offered judiciously with minimal risk of curable stress incontinence. The pediatric resectoscope is useful to make a well controlled incision safely in the female urethra.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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