‘Pacemaker’ Device Helps You Regain Bladder Control

Fri, 09/16/2011 - 6:23am

Some people with overactive bladder try treatment after treatment, but nothing seems to work. Others find certain treatments difficult to tolerate. Don't lose hope! A new treatment, called neurostimulation, may be worth considering.

Neurostimulation is a way of controlling urinary incontinence, frequency, and problems emptying the bladder. It works by sending mild electrical pulses to the sacral nerves—the nerves in the lower back that help control bladder function. The treatment requires only an outpatient procedure, and results can be seen quickly.

The Bladder "Pacemaker"

The therapy, provided by FDA-approved Medtronic InterStim® Therapy for Urinary Control, works similarly to how a pacemaker helps regulate the heart. A small device is surgically implanted under the skin close to the tailbone. It's programmed to emit electrical pulses that interrupt poor communication between the brain and sacral nerves. Without clear communication, the body is unable to store and void urine correctly.

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