About 37 million adults in the United States have one or more symptoms of overactive bladder – a sudden uncontrollable urge to urinate, urinary incontinence, frequent need to urinate, leakage, or even getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
For many of those patients, medications work. But mediations are not targeted, and they do have side effects, which can include dry mouth, blurry vision, foggy thinking, and constipation.
And there are people for whom the medications don’t work or don’t work sufficiently.
If you are one of the people for whom side effects are too unpleasant, or if conventional therapies have not worked and your bladder is still ruling your life, InterStim therapy may be an option. It also works for patients experiencing fecal incontinence because the same group of nerves is involved.
InterStim is targeted therapy. It provides constant stimulation to the sacral nerves that control bladder muscles, bringing order to the haphazard nerve stimulation that characterizes overactive bladder.
It’s my job to convince the patient to test the device, and the majority of patients find the results so dramatic that they talk me into implanting it permanently.
Of course, not everyone is a good candidate for InterStim. Generally, it is used in adults, and probably is not a good choice for those who have certain neurological issues. We also don’t recommend it for anyone whose incontinence issues result from an enlarged prostate, or cancer, or whose symptoms are primarily related to stress incontinence. It also may not be an option for anyone who is not a good candidate for surgery because of other medical conditions.
But for many people with overactive bladder, InterStim can be a permanent solution. It stops both leakage and frequency. If the result is good, the patient can stop taking all bladder control medications.
To learn more about overactive bladder symptoms and treatment, download a Roadmap to Solving Overactive Bladder Problems. To learn more about Interstim, read a blog on Interstim: Permanent, pain-free relief from overactive bladder symptoms.
David J. Cahn, MD, a board-certified urologist, brings years of experience to complex urological conditions that require surgical intervention. Dr. Cahn is one Colorado’s most experienced minimally invasive surgeons treating overactive bladder, and was among the first in the region to utilize InterStim technology. Dr. Cahn also specializes in advanced prostate cancer. He founded Foothills Urology in 2000 with the goal of providing state-of-the-art treatment in a small, personalized practice. Foothills Urology has since grown to become one of the region’s leading urology practices.