Over Active Bladder

What Is An Overactive Bladder?

Also known as urge incontinence and urgency-frequency syndrome, over active bladder (OAB) is a type of incontinence producing involuntary urination. One in six people in the US may suffer from overactive bladder and, although not a normal part of aging, the condition is more common in older adults.

An involuntary squeezing of the bladder muscles produces a sudden and uncontrollable need to urinate, even when only a small amount of urine is present. The urge to urinate can be so overpowering that it results in bladder leakage or even gushing.

 How Is OAB Treated?

* Anticholinergic drugs to block nerve signals to the bladder muscles
* Bladder retraining, pelvic floor exercises, biofeedback and other behavioral modifications

A promising new intervention called neuromodulation therapy was reported to be an effective alternative for treating OAB at the 2010 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association. Treatment involves electrical stimulation of the nerves that control bladder function. It was found to provide significant relief for severe urinary urgency, frequency and getting up several times to void.


Q: What Is InterStim Therapy?
A: InterStim Therapy is a proven neuromodulation therapy. It addresses the communication between the nerves that control the bladder and the brain. If the nerves don’t communicate correctly to the brain, the bladder will not function properly.
InterStim Therapy works with the sacral nerves, located near the tailbone. The sacral nerves control the bladder and muscles related to urinary function.

Q: Am I a candidate InterStim Therapy?
A: If you have tried other treatments but still have difficulty with bladder control, it’s probably an option you should consider.
If you have OAB (urge incontinence or urge frequency) or urinary retention, have tried other treatments such as fluid and diet modifications, physical therapy, medications and still experience OAB symptoms, InterStim Therapy is an option you may want to explore.
After a consultation and evaluation with Dr. Crawford, you can make an informed decision as to whether or not InterStim Therapy is right for you.
More than 100,000 people have received InterStim therapy worldwide. InterStim Therapy was created by Medtronic and has been FDA-approved since 1997 for urge incontinence and since 1999 for urinary retention and urgency-frequency.

Q: Is this procedure covered by my insurance?
A: In most cases, Medicare and many other private insurance companies cover InterStim Therapy.

Q: What is Involved (And What Are the Risks) Using Sacral Neuromodulation for Bladder Control?
A: InterStim Therapy for Urinary Control treats urinary retention (inability to completely empty the bladder) and the symptoms of overactive bladder, including urinary urge incontinence (leakage) and significant symptoms of urgency-frequency. It should be used after you have tried other treatments such as medications and behavioral therapy and they have not worked, or you could not tolerate them.

You should have a successful trial assessment with Dr. Crawford prior to receiving InterStim Therapy. You cannot have diathermy (deep heat treatment from electromagnetic energy) if you have an InterStim device.

InterStim Therapy is NOT intended for patients with a urinary blockage. Safety and effectiveness have not been established for pregnancy and delivery; patients under the age of 16; or for patients with neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

InterStim Therapy for Urinary Control is indicated for the treatment of urinary retention and the symptoms of overactive bladder, including urinary urge incontinence and significant symptoms of urgency-frequency alone or in combination, in patients who have failed or could not tolerate more conservative treatments. InterStim Therapy is not intended for patients with a urinary blockage.
In addition to risks related to a surgical procedure, complications from this therapy can occur and may require surgery. Complications can include pain at the implant sites, new pain, infection, lead (thin wire) movement/migration, device problems, interactions with certain other devices or diagnostic equipment such as MRI, undesirable changes in urinary or bowel function, and uncomfortable stimulation (sometimes described as a jolting or shocking feeling).

Dr. Crawford will discuss with you any possible adverse events that have been associated with the therapy. This therapy is not for everyone and a prescription is required.