Does your bladder rule your life? Botox is not just for wrinkles!
January 01, 2019
If you have a weak bladder, botox may be just one of many solutions
Patients with an overactive bladder can now be offered a new treatment.
Women with an overactive bladder typically have some of the following symptoms:
– a frequent need to pass urine,
– need to get up at night to pass urine
– urgency to pass urine
– leakage of urine (incontinence)
If you suffer from some, or all of the above, you do not have to put up with these symptoms. An overactive bladder is often due to excitable receptors in the bladder.
There are many things that can be done. Firstly, you can cut out all caffeinated drinks: tea, coffee, green tea, fizzy drinks and energy drinks. This is because caffeine is a major irritant to the bladder. Citrus fruits, tomatoes and strawberries can also irritate the bladder. Secondly, don’t go to the toilet unless you have an urge to do so, as this can shrink your bladder capacity and make things worse. If these measures don’t work or if you are passing blood in your urine, you need to visit your doctor. They will test your urine for an infection and discuss other treatment options. You may be offered a referral to a specialist.
Other treatments will depend on several things such as your symptoms, other medical conditions you may have and your preference for each treatment offered. These treatments include a variety of medications that you swallow, a patch that you apply to your skin, nerve stimulation or botox. There isn’t one treatment that is better than another and each has their benefits and side effects. Your specialist can discuss each option with you and you will be allowed to decide what you would like to do.
Botox is used to treat and calm the nerves that stimulate the bladder. It is given through an injection and takes around 20 minutes to administer. It can be done as an outpatient under local anaesthetic. You can drive and go back to all activities straight away. Botox usually lasts between 9-18 months but may need repeating after that. It successfully treats over 80% of patients with overactive bladder with the majority being very happy with the treatment and able to get back to a normal lifestyle.
To book an appointment with Professor Christian Phillips, Consultant in Urogynaecology and Pelvic Floor Surgery, call 01256 315010