Using Botox® to Treat Incontinence

Using Botox® to Treat Incontinence

The concept behind Botox® has always been simple. As a purified and diluted version of a natural and powerful neurotoxin, Botox can carefully control the response of muscle tissue around the site of its injection. 

This ability leads to varied and sometimes surprising applications for the product. Perhaps best known for its ability to counter certain types of wrinkles, Botox was originally developed to block eye muscle spasms that were severe enough to hinder patients’ vision. It was later that the aesthetic treatment values emerged. 

When you suffer from incontinence due to overactive bladder (OAB), Botox may present a treatment option that works when other approaches fail. Visit the specialists at Southeast Urogyn in Madison and Flowood, Mississippi, anytime that incontinence begins to interfere with your daily living. 

Types of urinary incontinence

Though it describes unwanted or unexpected urine leakage, urinary incontinence doesn’t have a single origin. It’s common for some women to experience a period of incontinence after giving birth. They may experience leakage when they laugh or cough. 

This is called stress incontinence and, for new mothers, it may be a temporary condition. Urge incontinence and OAB are different, and they don’t connect with body movement. Instead, these result from neurological conditions, some kind of interference in the nerves between your brain and the muscles controlling your bladder. These conditions include: 

While it’s possible to have stress incontinence at the same time, Botox treats urge incontinence and OAB when other alternatives prove ineffective. 

Brain/bladder communication

When the neurological connection between your brain and bladder starts to fail, your brain may not be aware of how much urine your bladder contains. The muscles that control the urination response may contract involuntarily, the overactivity that leads to urge incontinence. As well, when these muscles contract, the volume of urine your bladder can store becomes reduced. 

The role of Botox

As stated earlier, Botox works by limiting the ability of muscles to contracof t. When injected into certain muscles around the bladder, involuntary spasm stops for a period between 6 and 12 months, with the average duration lasting about 7.5 months. 

Candidates for Botox treatment

There are some conservative treatments for urge incontinence, such as pelvic floor exercises and diet modification, as well as other antispasmodic medications. Botox for incontinence is typically reserved for situations in which other therapies prove ineffective. 

What to expect from Botox treatments

Botox for incontinence is performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthetic. Injections are administered through a catheter equipped with a scope to ensure accurate placement of the injections, which typically take less than five minutes. The anesthetic is administered about 20 minutes prior to this. 

Side effects from treatment are rare, and they may include incomplete emptying of the bladder, which generally doesn’t create problems and requires no treatment. Light bleeding and urinary tract infection can sometimes occur as well. 

Using Botox for incontinence every six months could be the answer you’ve sought. Call the nearest office of Southeast Urogyn to schedule a consultation to learn more about your suitability for Botox treatments. 

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