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Botox in the Bladder: Relieving Incontinence with Botox Treatment

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, approximately 13 million people in the US suffer from incontinence, with 85% being women. The medical field has witnessed exciting advancements in treating various forms of incontinence, including using Botox as a potential treatment. 

People with incontinence may experience limitations in their daily activities, social interactions, and overall quality of life. While traditional treatment methods, such as pelvic floor exercises and medication for incontinence, have benefited many patients, they may not provide adequate relief for everyone. This innovative approach has shown promising results in relieving individuals struggling with this debilitating condition.

How Botox Helps Treat Incontinence

Incontinence, the involuntary loss of bladder or bowel control, can occur in anybody, but it’s more prevalent in older adults. Botox works by inhibiting the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for muscle contraction.

When injected into the targeted muscles involved with bladder control, Botox temporarily blocks the hyperactive contractions that lead to urgent and uncontrollable contractions. This relaxation effect helps increase the bladder’s storage capacity, allowing it to hold more urine before feeling the urge to urinate. 

The effectiveness of Botox in managing different types of incontinence

Botox has shown success in managing various types of incontinence, including:

  • Overactive bladder – Clinical studies have shown that Botox can significantly reduce urgent and frequent incontinence episodes. The effects of Botox injection last for several months, requiring repeat treatment to sustain the benefits. 
  • Neurogenic bladder – This condition causes bladder dysfunction due to nerve damage or neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries. Botox can relax the overactive muscles, reducing involuntary contractions. 

Consult with a healthcare professional before deciding to use Botox as a treatment option for incontinence. Consider factors like medical history, individual circumstances, and potential risks. 

The Botox Procedure for the Bladder

The first step is scheduling a consultation with a urologist or a urogynecologist. During this visit, they will review your medical history and conduct various physical examinations to determine if Botox is an appropriate option. They may also require comprehensive evaluations and diagnoses like urodynamic testing to determine the underlying cause of incontinence. 

A thorough evaluation ensures the treatment plan is tailored to your needs to maximize its effects. If Botox is deemed appropriate, the healthcare provider will continue with the treatment plan. 

The administration of Botox injections in the bladder

The procedure occurs in the outpatient setting, reducing the need for anesthesia or sedation.  You will lie down with support to your legs, and the healthcare provider will sterilize the area around the bladder to reduce the risk of infection. Injections to the bladder are performed using either:

  • Cystoscopy – It involves the insertion of a thin, flexible tube with a camera through the urethra to the bladder. The healthcare professional will accurately guide the needle injecting Botox into specific areas.
  • Ultrasound guidance – Ultrasound imaging can also guide the needle into the bladder. It provides real time visualization, helping the accurate administration of the injections. 

Botox administration takes around 15 – 30 minutes. However, the pre-procedure preparations, discussions, and post-procedure monitoring may affect the overall duration. 

Side Effects of Using Botox for Incontinence

Like any medical procedure, Botox may present some side effects and potential risks, including;

These side effects are not a major cause for concern. Less common but serious side effects include;

  • Allergic reactions like itching, skin rashes, breathing difficulty, and swollen face, lips, and throat
  • Systemic spread of toxins, causing muscle weakness, breathing difficulty, and swallowing problems

Before considering Botox for incontinence, thoroughly discuss with a healthcare provider for an informed decision and personalized treatment plan.

Determining if Botox is Right for You

A healthcare provider will determine factors such as your medical history, the type of incontinence, and previous incontinence treatment outcomes. Botox is not recommended for;

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Individuals with active UTI
  • People with neurological conditions or muscle disorders
  • People with known sensitivity or allergy to Botox

Only a qualified healthcare provider can offer evaluation, such as urodynamic testing and treatment recommendations regarding Botox for incontinence. 

Regain Your Quality of Life With the Incontinence Institute

The Incontinence Institute supports individuals with incontinence with the best treatment options available. Our team of healthcare providers understands the mental and physical trials this condition can cause. Our Tennessee urologists are ready to provide you with the best treatment option to help you enjoy your life again. Contact our medical concierge to start your healing journey.