While more commonly known for its role in cosmetic treatments, Botox can also provide relief from a host of other conditions. One of these is the use of the protein Botox in the management of an overactive bladder syndrome.
This gives sufferers, who don’t respond to drug treatments and exercises, a very effective medication-free approach.
Botox as a treatment is safe and has been subject to a number of different studies with two recent and widely published studies in 2015.
For people struggling with an overactive bladder, this uncomplicated approach, repeated every four to nine months, will allow for a medication-free solution to something no one should have to face.
The symptoms of Overactive Bladder Syndrome
The symptoms of an overactive bladder often overlap with those of stress urinary incontinence. For this reason, it is important to know which symptoms point to the latter, and which indicate OAB.
The biggest indicator of which category you fall into is whether there is the presence of leakage during physical activity. This symptom commonly signifies the presence of stress urinary incontinence.
Another major difference is that OAB also causes frequent bathroom breaks throughout the night, while stress urinary incontinence only does so rarely.
The difference between the two is that stress urinary incontinence can frequently be treated with exercise alone. This is because the cause is anatomic weakness in the areas that control the bladder.
OAB, on the other hand, is a condition that causes the bladder itself to contract too often, or without warning. Therefore, if your symptoms align with OAB, and you don’t respond to medication or exercises, Botox is an effective treatment option to provide relief.
How does Botox for OAB work?
Botox is a neurotoxic protein produced by a bacterium. Although most people know it for its skin tightening effects, when injected in small amounts, Botox causes a muscle to weaken for three to four months or longer. This is why it is so effective in the treatment of overactive bladder syndrome.
By weakening the ability of the muscle, the number of contractions lessen, and sufferers experience relief from their symptoms. For the procedure itself, medication is injected directly into the bladder muscle under a local aesthetic, with a small telescope placed in the bladder itself.
Which patients are eligible for the procedure?
As there are numerous other remedies for OAB or Overactive Bladder Syndrome, bladder Botox is generally reserved as a last resort. Once you’ve been diagnosed by a urologist, a variety of options will be made available to you.
Interestingly enough women respond to different therapies than men, having higher rates of success with techniques such as exercises to increase bladder strength, minimising `one’s intake of caffeine, and pelvic floor training.
The other option is medication, of which there are a variety. If, however, you are unresponsive to these techniques, then Botox treatment becomes a consideration.
What are the risks?
As with any medication or procedure, bladder Botox does carry some risks. They are not common, but it is still important to be cognisant of them so you can notice, and identify, problems if they occur.
Of course, as with any procedure, please discuss any risks with your urologist.
Mild side effects
Milder, and more common, symptoms include blood from the urine as a result of the injection, and trouble completely emptying the bladder. The blood will wear off after a few days, and in the worst case scenario, an infection may develop, but this is easily treated with antibiotics.
The rates of urinary retention among patients are between one in 10 and one in 20. While possibly an annoyance, most patients remain largely unaffected by this, and the symptoms pass after a few weeks. In rare cases, a catheter may be required, although this too is a purely temporary measure for most.
Possible side effects
The one major side effect that this procedure carries is extremely uncommon. In a small percentage the bladder may not empty and need to be managed. This condition does however self-correct.
If the needle enters a blood vessel in the bladder in the process of the injection, there is a very small chance that breathing may stop.
This will not occur immediately, but build up gradually and be noticed by the patient before any serious damage occurs. Once recognised, a medical professional can manage treatment to stop its progression.
To find out more about botox treatment and relieve your suffering today visit our Overactive Bladder Treatment page or contact the offices of Dr Katelaris for a professional opinion.