Patient Stories

John_Anderson_circle_crop.jpg‘No Longer a Prisoner’ to Overactive Bladder

Implantable device makes night-and-day difference for overactive bladder patient

Looking back, 57-year-old retired phone company employee John Anderson can’t count the number of times he interrupted business calls with, “Could you hold? I’ll be right back.” Like clockwork, he had to urinate every 15 minutes. “It didn’t matter what I drank or even if I stopped drinking. It was just bizarre,” he says.

For decades, he adjusted his life to it. “In public, I always had to know where the bathroom was,” he says. That changed about five years ago when he attended a talk by Foothills Urology’s David Cahn, MD, who ended his presentation with these words: “You don’t have to suffer through uncomfortable symptoms. There is an extremely good chance we can help you.”

Mr. Anderson scheduled an appointment with Dr. Cahn. “I was nervous. It’s a very touchy subject and one that concerns you because you think there’s something more sinister. Prostate cancer runs in my family,” he says.

As it turns out, Mr. Anderson simply had an overactive bladder. After a thorough work-up, Dr. Cahn started Mr. Anderson on a conservative treatment plan. When those treatments were not effective, Dr. Cahn recommended an InterStim® implant, a pacemaker-like device that targets the communication problem between the brain and the nerves that control the bladder. “It signals those nerves, telling them ‘Hey, everything is fine. We’re working.’”

Dr. Cahn, who performed Mr. Anderson’s procedure, helped pioneer the use of InterStim and is now one of the most experienced surgeons in Colorado performing this minimally invasive procedure.

Mr. Anderson loves to square dance and can now do so with ease. He is also an avid SCUBA diver and can now board international flights without the dread of constant trips to cramped airplane bathrooms.

“The difference has been night and day,” he says. “I’m no longer a prisoner.”