When conservative treatments fail to stop involuntary loss of urine or overactive bladder, a urologist may recommend Botox injections into the bladder. This helps relax the muscles, giving you more time to go to the bathroom when you feel the need to urinate. Botox works by blocking nerve signals in the bladder that cause the release of urine and prevent involuntary loss of urine. The effects of Botox last for about 6 months and then need to be re-injected when the patient notices that the benefits are disappearing.
Most patients see a reduction in involuntary urine loss within two weeks of Botox administration in the bladder and full effects by 12 weeks. Studies have shown that people who used Botox for symptoms of HAV noticed improvements in their symptoms and quality of life, as well as a decrease in episodes of urinary incontinence. The procedure for administering Botox is relatively simple and does not require general anesthesia. Your doctor will give you a local anesthetic to temporarily numb your bladder so you don't feel the injections, similar to how a dentist numbs your mouth before filling a cavity.
It involves placing a cystoscope in the bladder and injecting botox into numerous sites of the bladder through a needle that passes through the cystoscope. Most major health insurance providers, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover the cost of Botox medical treatments. Botox requires less time than PTNS, as patients with PTNS require an initial treatment of 12 weeks. Botox bladder injections cost comparable to most insurance plans for oral medications, InterStim, or percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS).
If you have symptoms of overactive bladder (HAV) or detrusor overactivity, Botox injections may be an effective treatment option for you. The minimum period between injections is 12 weeks, but in some cases, people feel the effects of Botox for longer periods. If you have any of these symptoms after receiving Botox injections, call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately or seek emergency medical attention right away.