BOTOX® for Urinary Incontinence & Overactive Bladder
BOTOX® FOR OVERACTIVE BLADDER AND URINARY INCONTINENCE
A relatively new treatment for an overactive bladder (OAB) and Urinary Incontinence (UI) is BOTOX®. No, it’s not supposed to give you a wrinkle free bladder! It can, in many cases, reduce or eliminate the sudden urge to urinate that can result in frequent trips to the bathroom or embarrassing urine leakage.
HOW DOES BOTOX® WORK?
BOTOX® is a botulinum toxin, a product of the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. It is known as a neurotoxin because it is toxic to nerve transmission. It acts by blocking the release of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. That results in paralysis of the muscle normally stimulated by a nerve.
So, for example, if you have “crow’s feet” by your eyes, injecting BOTOX® paralyzes the muscles in that area so wrinkles disappear. Similarly, if we inject BOTOX® into the bladder muscle, we can partially paralyze it so that inappropriate contractions do not occur.
WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS?
Injecting BOTOX® can significantly decrease the number of urges you have to urinate in a 24 hour period. It can also decrease the intensity of those urges. If the right amount is injected, and you respond perfectly, the result can be normal urination and elimination of the symptoms of OAB (overactive bladder).
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS AND COMPLICATIONS?
The challenge in using BOTOX® for OAB is that we must inject a fairly high dose. If too much is injected the result can be a complete inability to urinate (urinary retention) which would require use of a catheter until the medication slowly wears off. We typically inject 15 to 20 sites so there can be bleeding in the bladder. A general anesthetic may be required. There can be allergic reactions causing significant bladder pain.
IS IT A ONE TIME TREATMENT?
NO. BOTOX® needs to be injected approximately every 6 months.
IS BOTOX® RIGHT FOR ME?
BOTOX® isn’t right for everyone. But, in selected cases, it may be a good choice. Our philosophy at Pacific Coast Urology Medical Center, is to start with the lease invasive, and safest, treatment. We typically reserve BOTOX® for patients who have failed most or all other therapies for OAB or urinary incontinence.
How do you know if BOTOX® if right for you? Call us to schedule a consultation at one of our 3 conveniently located offices: 888.735.4336