Last week, I mentioned that I had surgery on my bladder, and that MAYBE it was the last time. Not the last time I will need surgery, but MAYBE the last time I will need surgery for Botox injections in my bladder. If you are interested in learning more about the how and why I have this done, please check out an earlier post, “You’re getting Botox where?”
The ‘short story’ is that I have both urge incontinence and urinary retention in my bladder, which makes my bladder have TOO much control in my life. I currently self cath every day, have Botox surgery 2 times a year, AND receive PTNS treatment every 4 weeks to manage these issues. Oh and I really try to laugh about it….smh
Some time ago (a couple of years ago), my urogynecologist talked to me about an device made by Medtronic called Interstim. (pictured above)
The root cause of overactive bladder and urge incontinence are the sacral nerve roots, which control the muscle impulses that cause the bladder to expand and contract.
- InterStim is an FDA-approved surgical implant device used to treat bladder incontinence and overactive bladder.
- The device works by sending mild electric pulses to control symptoms such as leaks and urge incontinence.
- InterStim can be reversed or discontinued at any time during therapy.
My first thought was SIGN ME UP!!!! I immediately began researching this device.
The problem is, the device is not MRI safe. ARGH!!!! (I HAVE to have MRI’s every year not only to stay on Tysabri, but to monitor my Multiple Sclerosis, and every other new injury I get.) DAMN! DAMN! DAMN!
My doctor told me that the company was working on making a device that would be MRI safe, and it was just a matter of time. MAYBE that time is now?!?!??!
This device is already being used successfully in other countries!!!! If you have any experience with the FDA approval process, you know that it’s not quick. My doc says that it was approved and should be available in April. I haven’t been able to find any other source to confirm that though, so I elected to have the Botox surgery once again.
Even if the device is improved and that is the route I take, there is still no ‘guarantee’ that it will work for me. There is a two week test phase etc. The Colorado Woman’s Health website, provides a great source of information about the procedures etc, if you would like to check it out. (IMO even better than the manufacturer’s website) If you want more information, both sites are worth visiting.
Another treatment that I use is PTNS. (Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation) IMO, this works similar to the Interstim device, but is performed without surgery. I’ve posted this video of it being performed on my Youtube Channel if you would like to see.
Talking about bladder issues is almost as uncomfortable as living with them. I said ALMOST. If you are experiencing issues, PLEASE talk to your doctor about them. There is help! I have been dealing with my issues for over 20 years. In the beginning, less invasive treatments: kegel exercises, bladder retraining, and medications worked for me. Maybe I developed a resistance or intolerance to them and had to move on to the treatments I currently use? I’m not sure. I do know that the isolation and self esteem issues can be overwhelming.
If you have any questions, please feel free to post here or message me. You can also contact me on my Facebook page. I’m not a doctor, but I’m open and honest.