Many patients who suffer from bladder leakage as a result of overactive bladder muscles are able to regain control once again thanks to the temporary muscle relaxing effects of Botulinum A toxin (Botox).
Botox is a type of neuromodulator that can safely hinder nerve communication between nerves and the bladder muscles (detrusor muscle) for several months without harming nerve tissue. When Botox is used to stop nerve signals to the detrusor muscle, it can effectively stop bladder spasms that might lead to urinary leakage or sudden strong urges to urinate.
Overactive bladder or bladder spasticity often occurs in older women or women who have experienced nerve damage due to childbirth or trauma. Botox can offer relief for 6 to 8 months and can be re-administered once the effects wear off. It has shown success as a treatment for female incontinence. Another advantage of Botox injections into the detrusor muscle is that women with urinary incontinence typically notice an increase in bladder capacity once the muscles stop spasming or contracting involuntarily.
Urologists can safely conduct Botox bladder treatments for urinary incontinence on an outpatient basis. During this procedure, the urologist inserts a catheter through the urethra to access the bladder. To prevent discomfort, they flush a local anesthetic into the bladder. Subsequently, they insert a cystoscope (a scope for visualizing the inside of the bladder) into the bladder. They strategically administer several injections into the detrusor muscle to effectively reduce muscle contractions. The benefits of Botox injections will not be noticeable to patients until at least a week after the treatment, and complete results might require up to 2 weeks.
For urge urinary incontinence, the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to usually go home on the same day as the injections and resume regular activities. It’s common for women to observe blood in their urine (hematuria) a day or two after the injections, but the side effect should resolve by itself.
Botox is clinically proven to be effective at treating the symptoms of overactive bladder and other causes of urinary incontinence in women; however, as with any medical procedure, there is a degree of risk. Fortunately, the side effects of bladder Botox are rare and relatively minor, but may include:
While these risks are rare, it is important to only undergo female urinary incontinence treatment from a highly experienced urologist who is experienced at treating urological issues.
Botox injections are FDA approved for patients who have had little to no success treating urge urinary incontinence with traditional or conservative methods. Behavioral interventions or oral medications are the first and second line of treatment for overactive bladder. Botox may be an ideal treatment option for patients who:
If you or someone you care about may be a candidate for Botox, the results are typically dramatic and may result in improved urinary function even after the effect of the injections have worn off. The American Urological Association has even reported that patients may experience up to a 50 percent drop in daily urinary incontinence incidents, which can be significant for those suffering with urge urinary incontinence.
Botox bladder injections are not recommended for patients who suffer from certain neuromuscular diseases, such as myasthenia gravis, or are currently undergoing treatments that block the neuromuscular junction, which may result in widespread or prolonged muscle weakness. The injections are also not beneficial for patients who suffer from stress urinary incontinence or cannot empty their bladder on their own. Patients who are currently suffering from a urinary tract infection (UTI) will have to wait until the infection has fully cleared before undergoing the Botox procedure for urge urinary incontinence.
If you are a patient struggling with controlling your bladder on a daily basis and lifestyle adjustments or medication haven’t been effective, you may find the relief you need from urinary incontinence with the InterStim system. InterStim is a medical device used for sacral nerve stimulation, which allows you to control your bladder function more effectively. The InterStim system has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because it has helped millions of patients across the world.
To learn more about InterStim and whether it is an ideal treatment option for your female urinary incontinence, please do not hesitate to contact the skilled, compassionate urologists at Comprehensive Urology in Beverly Hills. Our team understands how difficult and frustrating incontinence can be, and we are dedicated to helping each and every patient find the best incontinence treatment solution available. Call us at (310) 499-2756 or make an appointment online.
Yes. In fact, clinical trials of patients who were dealing with overactive bladder symptoms revealed Botox provided up to six months of overactive bladder symptom improvement.
How long does it take to see results?
Most patients see the results of a Botox treatments within two weeks.
A Botox treatment is designed to help a patient minimize pain. Usually, patients do not experience pain after a Botox treatment. In some cases, Botox patients may experience pain in the first few times after they urinate. Patients also may notice blood in their urine immediately following a Botox treatment
It may take as little as one hour to conduct an entire Botox procedure. Typically, a urologist needs about 20 minutes to prepare a patient for a Botox treatment, 10 minutes to administer Botox injections, and 30 minutes to evaluate a patient after treatment.
Those who are dealing with a UTI should not undergo Botox for overactive bladder. Meanwhile, a urologist provides a patient with an antibiotic before Botox is administered to reduce the risk of a UTI. Additionally, a urologist prescribes medication to help a patient reduce the risk of UTI after a Botox treatment.
Botox is injected into the bladder muscle. Initially, a urologist flushes the bladder with local anesthesia administered via a catheter. The local anesthesia numbs the bladder. Next, a cystoscope is moved from the urethra into the bladder. Finally, a small needle is inserted into the cystoscope that is used to administer a series of Botox injections into the bladder.
The answer to this question varies based on the individual. Fortunately, a urologist is happy to meet with a patient, learn about his or her overactive bladder symptoms, and perform a full patient evaluation. That way, a urologist can determine if Botox is the right treatment option.
If a urologist finds that Botox may help a patient alleviate overactive bladder symptoms, he or she will outline all aspects of the procedure to a patient. A urologist will also respond to a patient’s Botox concerns and questions to help this individual make an informed treatment decision.
Comparatively, if the potential risks of Botox outweigh the potential benefits for a patient, a urologist will provide overactive bladder treatment alternatives. A urologist’s goal is to ensure a patient can treat his or her overactive bladder symptoms for years to come. To accomplish this goal, a urologist may recommend Botox or other overactive bladder treatments tailored to a patient’s condition.