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Overactive Bladder Treatment

Implanted Devices

When men or women with overactive bladder have failed to respond to more conservative overactive bladder treatment, an electrical stimulation device can be placed next to the tailbone.
This overactive bladder treatment requires a trial period, in which a doctor surgically implants a temporary electrode in the lower back. The temporary electrode is attached by a thin wire, called a lead, to an external stimulation device, which patients carry with them for a few days. The device sends mild electrical pulses to the nerve that controls the bladder and surrounding muscles.
If there is dramatic improvement, then the device is permanently implanted at a second outpatient surgery, leaving all hardware under the skin.
In clinical studies, more than one-third of the patients did not receive the implanted device, typically because they did not have significant improvement during the trial period.

Choosing a Treatment

Experts agree that no treatment is perfect for everyone with incontinence. Treatment depends not only on the severity of overactive bladder, but on an individual's lifestyle, and personal preferences.
The success of overactive bladder treatment is an individual perception. It may not always be a reasonable expectation to be cured.
About 70 percent of women with overactive bladder benefit from a combination of simple measures, such as:
  • Bladder retraining
  • Exercises
  • Medication.
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