Bladder leakage is an astonishingly common problem. It stems from dysfunction of the complex pelvic floor muscles and can diminish control of both the bladder and the bowels over time. It is a more severe problem than many people realize, interfering with sleep, hygiene, and the ability to simply go participate and enjoy life. But can bladder leakage be fixed?
Traditional Treatment Options
Today the answer is thankfully a resounding yes. Until recently, however, the answer would have been much less favorable. Let us recap the recent history of treatments for urinary and fecal incontinence. Despite the large number of medications for sale, none of these pills work very well to resolve the leakage problem. By the way, most of them are on AARP’s list of drugs to avoid because they are associated with memory loss and dementia. Surgery has been a little bit better but most of the surgical procedures end up supporting the muscles to improve bulges, what we refer to as prolapse, but often fail to control the leakage. And that leaves exercises or biofeedback therapy, an important adjunct to our therapies certainly, but rarely a standalone solution that has been effective enough to truly solve the leakage problem.
A Modern Solution to Bladder and Bowel Leakage
Today, however, the tide has turned definitively, thanks to a technology that has become both highly effective and minimally invasive. The technology builds upon the historical success of cardiac pace-making technology, which has saved millions of lives by restoring the complex heart muscles when they stop functioning properly. A pelvic floor pacemaker, called sacral neuromodulation, works similarly, sending a signal to the pelvic floor musculature to restore the complex pelvic floor muscles, including the bladder and bowel sphincters. In experienced hands, the procedure takes about 25 minutes, places a tiny computer chip-like device under the skin, and delivers over 90% success at restoring bowel and bladder control. No more diapers and no more planning every movement around the proximity of a bathroom. Here are several articles for a patient perspective on the impact of sacral neuromodulation:
- Patient Review of Sacral Neuromodulatio for Incontinence
- Patient Review: A Life-Changing Procedure for Incontinence
- “A Game Changer” — A Patient Review of Sacral Nerve Modulation for Incontinence
- Patient Perspective: A Review of Sacral Neuromodulation for Bowel Incontinence
- A Review of Sacral Nerve Modulation
The Best-Kept Secret in Modern Medicine
Although the technology has been around for 20 years and keeps improving, few centers offer sacral neuromodulation, and few surgeons are fully trained in the technology. If you or your loved one is still wearing a pad and experiencing embarrassing leakage despite medications and exercises, ask your doctor about sacral neuromodulation, one of the most successful medical technologies perfected in the past two decades. And for specific questions, we invite you to contact the Sasse Surgical team in Reno today.