Making it to the bathroom

A bladder pacemaker is a small device that uses nerve-modulating technology to help gain control of a patient’s bladder. It is surgically implanted near the third sacral nerve, close to the tailbone, with an insulated wire that connects to the sacral nerves.

By transmitting electrical pulses, the bladder pacemaker corrects the communication between the brain and the sacral nerves. This neurostimulation can reduce urinary incontinence and the feeling of urinary urgency.

It is important to test other treatments before a bladder pacemaker procedure. The most common treatment is making lifestyle and behavioral changes. To improve bladder control, physical therapy, such as pelvic floor exercises, is recommended.

Another treatment to consider before a bladder pacemaker procedure is medication therapy. There are multiple medication options available. Be sure to speak to your doctor about which medication would be the best fit for you and your symptoms.

If you are not experiencing symptom relief after testing out other treatments for urinary incontinence, a bladder pacemaker procedure might be the next option. We recommend discussing this procedure with a urology provider to make sure this treatment is the correct option for you.

Those who are eligible for a bladder pacemaker procedure must have an underactive or overactive bladder confirmed with urodynamic testing. Urodynamic testing is a procedure that analyzes the effectiveness of the lower urinary tract. This test specifically looks at the nerve and muscle function, flow and bladder pressure to determine urinary incontinence.

The following practices may be able to help if you are experiencing loss of bladder control or urinary incontinence:

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Article by: Kellen Choi, D.O., FACOS

Kellen Choi, D.O., FACOS, is a urologist practicing at UofL Physicians – Urology Associates in Shelbyville, Ky. Her areas of interest include complex voiding dysfunction, female urology, general male urology and robotic surgery. Dr. Choi recently received a Center of Excellence designation for Interstim (or Neuromodulation), a bladder pacemaker. Dr. Choi earned her M.D. from University of North Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her fellowship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at Metro Urology Center Continence Care, and her residency in urology at Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston, W.Va.

All posts by Kellen Choi, D.O., FACOS
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