Urinary incontinence, the inability to control one's bladder, affects men but more frequently, women. It's a problem that can keep people at home instead of out enjoying life. There is medication you can take and certain exercises help but if none of that works, now there is electronic help. It's newly approved by the FDA and it's sort of like a cardiac pacemaker for the bladder. It's called Interstim and it's an implantable, battery operated stimulator for the nerves that control the bladder.
Here's how it works: the stimulator is implanted under the skin, attached to an electrode that runs to the sacrum, stimulating the bladder nerves as they exit the spine. Before a patient commits to the implant, he or she undergoes a one week test run. If they get relief, then the permanent stimulator is inserted.
"You can get a series of contractions and relaxation of those muscles and by doing so, you can alter the way that the bladder behaves," explains Dr. Eric Margolis, a Urologist.
"It was unbelievable. I would actually feel normal during the day," says Pauline Rotmil, an incontinence patient. It works about 80% of the time. But only on patients with what's called urge incontinence. That's the got-to-go syndrome you hear about on commercials.
So is Interstim a new option here in Lubbock? Yes. I spoke to Dr. Arnold,a Urologist at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and he says they are using the implant here. For more information call (806) 743-2340.