The most common symptom of overactive bladder is urinary urgency. Urinary urgency is defined as a sudden, compelling urge to urinate. This symptom can result in the uncontrolled loss of urine, called urge incontinence.
The condition can be caused by a variety of things including: urinary tract infections (UTI), surgery on the bladder, bladder tumors, kidney stones, bladder stones, or nerve damage. Commonly, however, there is no cause found for the symptoms.
Most people with urinary urgency are treated by their primary care doctor with medications. If the symptoms do not resolve, these patients are referred to a urologist. Fortunately, a urologist has many tools to help people treat their condition. At North Austin Urology, we have a step-wise approach that includes:
• Aggressive dietary and lifestyle modification to avoid triggers of symptoms and reduce the effect they have on activities.
• Pelvic physical therapy to help muscles relearn their role and the proper response to irritation.
• BOTOX is a powerful neurotoxin that is widely used by plastic surgeons to reduce skin wrinkles but has very useful effects when used in the bladder of patients for whom medications have not worked.
• Neuromodulation involves using electrical impulses to retrain the nerves that control the bladder. It often involves the implantation of a device after a test period, both of which are surgical procedures.