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Electrical Stimulation to Enhance Bladder Volumes

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Electrical stimulation, most notably anterior sacral root stimulation, has been used to enhance bladder volume and induce voiding (Egon et al. 1998; Brindley et al. 1982). Typically, this approach has involved concomitant dorsal sacral rhizotomy and implantation of a sacral nerve stimulator. The combined effect of this is a more compliant bladder with more storage capacity under lower pressure and triggered voiding resulting in reduced incontinence, without the need to catheterize. As the focus of many of the studies involving electrical stimulation is on both of these functions (i.e., increased bladder capacity and control of bladder emptying), we will describe the evidence for these and other methods of electrical stimulation for improving bladder outcomes in a single subsequent subsection (see section 3.4.7 Electrical Stimulation for Bladder Emptying (and Enhancing Volumes)).