Treating Overactive Bladder Symptoms & Urinary Incontinence
Botox, a botulinum toxin that relaxes muscle contractions, has long been used in cosmetic and dermatologic practices, then more recently by neurological practice to treat migraines. Now Botox injections have been approved for the treatment of overactive bladder and urinary incontinence.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved Botox to treat urinary incontinence for individuals with nerve damage related to such conditions as spine injury and multiple sclerosis. After additional clinical trials, the FDA later expanded the use of Botox in early 2013 to treat patients that did not previously respond to conventional treatments like anticholinergic medications, which are intended to hinder involuntary movements of the muscles related to conditions such as incontinence, and still experienced incontinence symptoms.
How Botox Works
As licensed providers of Botox, Pacific Urology physicians perform the non-invasive, in-office procedure by injecting the product directly into the bladder or into tissue that surrounds the urethra.
Botox treatments significantly reduce incontinence symptoms, including urge urinary incontinence, urgency, frequency and urinary leakage. The injected Botox reduces symptoms by relaxing the muscles of the bladder and reducing bladder muscle contractions to increase bladder storage capacity.
Patients typically experience symptom relief with in one week of the injection treatment. However, Botox injections are not a permanent procedure and symptom relief will typically last between three and six months before requiring reapplication.
Who is a Candidate for Botox?
All patients who fail conventional treatment for overactive bladder may be a candidate. Because Botox reduces the bladder muscle contractions, there is a possible risk of urinary retention or inability to fully empty the bladder. While this complication is rare, Botox is only recommended for patients who are willing and able to insert a catheter to drain the bladder if required.
To learn more about treating incontinence with Botox or to learn if you are a candidate, please contact Pacific Urology to request an appointment.