A urologist can inject Botox into the bladder to treat urge incontinence or overactive bladder. This helps your muscles relax, giving you more time to go to the bathroom when you feel the need to urinate. Injections are done in the clinic and most patients tolerate injections well. Botox for urinary incontinence is often recommended when conservative treatments do not stop involuntary loss of urine or overactive bladder.
Botox helps block nerve signals in the bladder that cause the release of urine and prevent involuntary loss of urine. If you have symptoms of overactive bladder (HAV) or detrusor overactivity, your bladder muscles spasm involuntarily (without your control). Botox is injected into the detrusor muscle (the main muscle of the bladder) to block nerve signals to the muscle. This helps control muscle contractions.
The minimum period between injections is 12 weeks, but in some cases, people feel the effects of Botox for longer periods. 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. Botox is generally used to improve conditions with muscle spasticity, involuntary muscle contractions, excessive sweating, and twitching of the eyelid or eye muscles. In other words, Botox works very well and patients cannot evacuate on their own, or they have some residual urine in the bladder that does not pass with normal urination.
Most patients see a reduction in involuntary urine loss within two weeks of Botox administration in the bladder and full effects by 12 weeks. In other studies on the use of Botox for symptoms of HAV in adults, people reported improvements in their symptoms and quality of life. Another improvement that people who used Botox for symptoms of HAV noticed after receiving the injections was the decrease in episodes of urinary incontinence. 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.
The good news is that urinary incontinence is a treatable medical condition, and one of the most effective treatments is Botox. You don't need general anesthesia for Botox injections into the bladder, but 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).