In the 1980s, Botox® was developed and approved by the FDA for the treatment of certain eye muscle disorders. Shortly thereafter, Botox gained acclaim as a cosmetic product to treat wrinkles. Since the late 1990s, it has been used to treat disorders of the bladder, primarily overactive bladder.
As a treatment for incontinence, Botox is injected into the bladder muscle using a specialized instrument called a cystoscope that allows the physician to look at the bladder’s inner lining. The procedure takes 15 minutes or less and can be performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. The benefits last about 6-9 months, and the procedure can be repeated if successful.