By Dr Greggory Pinto
Overactive bladder and urinary incontinence/leak affects thousands of Bahamian men, women and children.
It is characterised by the frequent urge to urinate that cannot be delayed, by frequent voiding, frequent nocturia (nighttime urination) and urge urinary incontinence/leak.
The urge and frequent need to urinate often sadly controls the lives of sufferers of overactive bladder.
Bladder function is regulated by a group of nerves at the base of the spine, the sacral nerve plexus. Stimulating these nerves through gentle pain free stimulation can significantly reduce overactive bladder symptoms.
Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) is a proven, FDA-approved, innovative neuromodulation technique used in most First World countries to effectively treat overactive bladder. It involves stimulating the tibial nerve at the back of the ankle with a painless acupuncture type fine micro sterile needle connected to a painless low voltage emitting electrode, that stimulates the lower back sacral nerves that control bladder and pelvic floor function.
This nonsurgical electrical stimulation is provided within the urologist office in outpatient procedures.
The advantage of PTNS is that it is an office procedure with rare side effects, and it allows patients to be free of daily medications like anticholinergics that may have multiple negative side effects. PTNS provides sustained highly effective relief of overactive bladder symptoms for up to 12 months.
The improvement in the quality of life of an overactive bladder suffer can be profoundly positive with the treatment of posterior tibial nerve stimulation.
Overactive bladder and urge urinary incontinence are traditionally treated with firstly behavioural modifications and medications, primarily anticholinergic medications that unfortunately have many side effects such as dry mouth and constipation and dementia in the elderly.
A newer drug, Mirabegron, is efficacious in treating overactive bladder, with few side effects but is it is an expensive medication.
Minimally invasive bladder scoping with Botox bladder injections is a very well tolerated management for overactive bladder that provides effective relief for an average period of 12 months.
The innovative minimally invasive procedures of both PTNS and bladder Botox installations are readily available in the Bahamas through Urology Care Bahamas.
Do not let your bladder control your life and rob you of your happiness.
Modern advances in urology are readily available in the Bahamas with the potential of having an overactive bladder sufferer void urine every four to six hours instead of every 15 minutes. It could potentially change your life from darkness to light.
Do not let embarrassment or fear keep you from seeking treatment for your bladder issues. You are far from alone. Over 33 million Americans suffer from overactive bladder. Confidential, compassionate and comprehensive advanced modern urology care awaits you.
• Dr Greggory Pinto is a Bahamian urologist who has trained in South Africa, France and Germany under the world-renowned prostate minimally invasive pioneer, Professor Andreas Gross in Hamburg. He has a wealth of experience with all forms of minimally invasive endoscopic prostate procedures including bipolar transurethral resection of prostates and Thulium and Holium laser prostate vaporisation and enucleation, and the UroLift procedure. Dr Pinto can be reached at Urology Care Bahamas at the Surgical Suite, Centreville Medical Centre, Collins Avenue and Sixth Terrace. Call 326-1929, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit urologycarebahamas.com.