Worrying about bladder mishaps in your daily life can certainly keep you from doing the things you love most. Luckily, a bladder stimulator is a great option for those suffering from a number of different bladder conditions. Continue reading to learn more about bladder stimulators which may be right for you.
Symptoms of Bladder Control Problems
Common symptoms of bladder control problems may include:
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Inability to hold urine/leaking
- Inability to urinate
- Incomplete bladder emptying
While symptoms may vary there are four common types of bladder conditions:
Overactive Bladder (OAB): OAB is an umbrella term that includes the frequent and urgent need to empty your bladder.
Urinary Incontinence: The inability to control when the bladder releases urine.
Urinary Retention: The inability to empty the bladder. People with this condition are unable to urinate or they feel frequent urges but only urinate small amounts.
Fecal Incontinence: Also known as accidental bowel leakage, is a condition where people get sudden urges to pass stool and experience leakage of stool before they make it to the restroom.
The Solution: A Bladder Stimulator
A bladder stimulator is a small device implanted in your back at the base of your spine and above the buttocks during a procedure known as sacral nerve stimulation (SNS). The sacral nerves carry the signals between your bladder, spinal cord, and brain that tell you when you need to urinate. This is done after exhausting conventional treatment options such as pelvic floor physical therapy and medications.
At GSMC, we use a long-term relief technology called Axonics Therapy. Before committing to long-term therapy, our team first does a trial with the patient to see if the treatment works for each and every patient. A thin thin wire is carefully placed close to the third sacral nerve through a needle. The wire connects to a battery-powered device (similar to a pacemaker) called a pulse generator that you wear outside your body during a three day trial period. If the symptoms get significantly better the device is put in permanently and can last up to 15 years.
The actual electrical stimulation that is used to treat urinary incontinence sends a mild electric current to nerves in the lower back/pelvic muscles which are involved in urination. The patient does not feel this electrical stimulation but the nerves do leading to symptoms improvement.