Enlarged Bladder


The Mysteries Of An Enlarged Bladder

Having an enlarged bladder is one of the more rare disorders one is apt to face. Not only are the symptoms often inconsistent, but the underlying causes, unless the enlargement is due to a congenital defect, are not always easy to pinpoint, nor is the condition always properly diagnosed. This would seem then to be a situation where one might have an enlarged bladder, but the symptoms, such as a frequent need for urination could point to any number of other disorders of the bladder, or a disease for which incontinence is merely one of the symptoms.

The Hypertrophic Bladder - The medical term for an enlarged bladder is bladder hypertrophy. The term hypertrophy is applied to any organ which has, for whatever reason, become significantly larger than normal. In some instances this can be a serious condition, in other instances it is not. Insofar as the bladder is concerned, the primary symptom is usually one of being unable to fully eliminate the contents of the bladder all at once. Urine remains in the enlarged bladder, and as more urine is discharged from the kidneys, the urge to urinate soon returns, usually much sooner than is normal. A person having this condition may find himself or herself having to get up several times at night to urinate.

A Congenital Condition For Some - To resolve the problem of an enlarged or hypertrophic bladder, one must of course get to the cause. One cause is congenital, where the bladder at birth is not properly positioned, or may actually extend beyond the wall and tissues holding it in place. The extension beyond normal its boundaries, in effect creating an enlarged bladder, is in itself not necessarily harmful, but may interfere with adjacent organs causing urinary tract blockages. This instance of an enlarged bladder is sometimes found in infants, and is usually easily attended to through surgery, the bladder simply being "tucked back" and secured in its proper position. Sometimes, due to congenital or other reasons, pockets can exist in the bladder, which retain urine, not allowing the bladder to empty entirely.

An Obstruction Often the Cause - The other usual cause of an enlarged bladder can be an obstruction in the urinary tract. This may be a slowly developing situation in which the obstruction places pressure on the bladder, causing a gradual thickening of the bladder walls. The wall muscles may become 3 to 4 times thicker than normal, increasing the overall size of the organ. Eventually the obstruction may become severe enough to cause noticeable symptoms, and will have to be dealt with surgically. The obstruction itself could be a cyst, a benign tumor, or a cancerous one, so once the presence of an obstruction is diagnosed, treatment should immediately follow. Once the obstruction is removed, the hypertrophic bladder will usually return to its normal size fairly quickly, and not create further problems.

We Know More About Rats And Rabbits Than People - Much has been done in investigating the enlarged bladder abnormality using rabbit and rats urinary tract organs as models. From these studies, the physiological aspects of the abnormality have become fairly well understood, but fully understanding the causes, and being able to diagnose the problem in humans, has remained somewhat of a gray area. It is fair to say that incontinence is the most pronounced symptom of an enlarged bladder, possibly accompanied by discomfort in the lower abdomen and pelvic region. Modern medical technology is making it possible however for urologists to more accurately identify this somewhat rare disorder. If you feel you may be suffering from this condition, it is important to urinate as often as possible or at least as often as convenient, as retaining urine in the bladder can at some point cause complications. Treatment and prognosis cannot always accurately be predicted, as the causes behind the bladder abnormality can differ.