What are "Bladder Control" Problems?
Bladder control problems cover a broad range of
symptoms. Typically patients may leak small or
large amounts of urine. Urgency is the feeling of
having to run to the bathroom. Frequency is the
feeling of having to go to the bathroom many times.
Some people have the feeling that they cannot
empty their bladder completely.
Bladder control problems are common. It can affect
both men and women. It can affect people of any
age and it should not be considered a normal part
Urge incontinence is a form of overactive bladder.
The symptoms include the loss of urine as soon as
you need to go to the bathroom. Urine may leak
urine when you drink even a small amount of liquid
or when you hear or touch running water. Frequent
urination or frequency may be associated with
|Continence Center of Santa Fe
Non-obstructive urinary retention occurs when you cannot fully empty you bladder. Some may need a catheter to pass
urine. Others may produce a weak stream with dribbling urine. There may not be a sensation when your bladder is full
and storage or urine may be increased.
Medication are thought to address the muscles that squeeze urine out of your bladder. Interstim is a neurostimulator.
It addresses the nerves that control urination.
|Sacral Nerve Stimulation
Voiding requires multiple different things to occur in a coordinated activity. The bladder's sphincter needs to relax, the
bladder needs to squeeze and then the sphincter needs to contract once voiding is completed. Some of this activity is
active and some passive. Linking the muscles to the brain is a network of nerve fibers. When you take a medication
for your bladder it interacts with the muscles only. The neuro or nerve component is not effective.
If medications have failed or are not as effective as expected it may be because a problem lies with the nerves
interacting with the bladder. Sacral nerve stimulator are thought to interact with the nerves providing a calming effect to
those that are causing your symptoms such as urgency, frequency or non-obstructive urinary retention.
There is a two step process in placing a sacra nerve stimulation.
- Stage 1 is completed in the office or under sedation in the operating room. A tiny needle is placed into the area
that stimulates the bladder. A local anesthetic is used. Left behind is a thin wire that is connected to an
external stimulator that is worn like a pager. Within 48 hours you should experience improvement of your
symptoms. If your symptoms do not improve, the wire is pulled out and band aid is applied.
- Stage 2 is completed in the operating room. This is done for comfort and to use x-rays to precisely place the
bladder stimulator lead. The permanent implant is about the size of a matchbook and is placed under the skin.
This procedure takes about 45 minutes. You are able to go home with a small bandage.
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