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Overactive Bladder (cont.)

Overactive Bladder Surgery

Insertion of nerve stimulators have been approved for treating overactive bladder, which is refractory (unresponsive) to other more common therapies mentioned above. These devices can modulate and rebalance the nerve stimulation responsible for OAB and hyperactive detrusor muscle.

Sacral nerve stimulation (InterStim Therapy Sacral Nerve Stimulation, Medtronic, Minneapolis, Minn.) is the most common type used. If the patient with OAB responds to a test stimulation, then the device can be surgically implanted. Another type of nerve stimulator is Urgent PC (Uroplasty, Inc., Minnetonka, Minn.), a percutaneous (delivered through the skin) tibial nerve stimulation therapy. Both of these devices are FDA-approved for OAB.

Traditional surgery is rarely used in treating overactive bladder and is reserved for cases unresponsive to all other forms of therapy. Reconstructive bladder surgery is the most commonly performed procedure.

Overactive Bladder Complications

The following are some of the complications of overactive bladder:

  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Skin infection and irritation around the pelvic area
  • Falls and fractures in elderly attempting multiple trips to the bathroom
  • Depression and social isolation
  • Overall poorer quality of life of the patient and caregivers

Additionally, OAB is associated with increased economic burden and financial complications due to the need for increased caregiver hours, nursing-home placement, and treatment of infections or fractures.

Overactive Bladder Follow-up

Follow-up for overactive bladder depends on how the symptoms are controlled with a proposed treatment and what other underlying conditions need to be addressed. The treating physician is the best person to determine the timing and frequency of follow-up.

Last Reviewed 12/17/2015

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