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Botox® Treatment for an Overactive Bladder: Am I a Candidate?

Botox® Treatment for an Overactive Bladder: Am I a Candidate?

Struggling with sudden and desperate urges to urinate? You might be one of the more than 33 million Americans with overactive bladder (OAB), which affects as many as 40% of women and 30% of men. 

Besides strong urges to empty your bladder, OAB can trigger embarrassing leaks, adding to your anxiety and frustration. Some people even avoid activities they used to enjoy because they’re worried about making it to the restroom in time.  

At Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia, our board-certified providers help men and women with OAB find lasting relief using the latest treatment methods. One of our favorite ways to address the urges and accidents OAB causes is with safe and effective Botox® injections.

If you’re struggling with the embarrassment and frustration of an overactive bladder, keep reading to learn if you’re a candidate for this minimally invasive therapy.   

Botox for overactive bladder

When you hear “Botox,” chances are you think about it as a way to minimize the appearance of fine lines and facial wrinkles. But this FDA-approved bladder treatment can also help prevent the muscle spasms that contribute to OAB. 

Nearly three-quarters of OAB patients who receive Botox injections enjoy a significant decrease in their problematic symptoms and report an overall improvement in their quality of life, including:

There are a few possible side effects. Most commonly, these include blood in the urine or a UTI after the procedure. 

In a few cases (about 6%), patients notice an increase in the amount of urine remaining in the bladder after urinating that requires a temporary catheter to drain.  

What to expect when getting Botox for OAB

While individual cases may vary, most of the time, Botox can be injected on an in-office, outpatient basis. Your provider administers local anesthesia into your bladder using a catheter.  

Once the lining of your bladder is numb (usually 20-30 minutes), a small scope connected to a camera is run into your bladder through your urethra. Your Urological Associates provider then passes a small needle through the scope to inject Botox into the muscle of your bladder.  

Your Urological Associates provider prescribes antibiotics to take for several days following your treatment to help prevent a urinary tract infection (UTI) from developing. The effects of your treatment take about two weeks to notice and last about six months. 

You can have the treatment repeated twice a year for maximum benefit. Talk to your provider if your symptoms return sooner than 6 months as you may be eligible for additional treatments before the 6-month interval as long as 12 weeks have passed since your last injections. 

Candidates for Botox for OAB

While Botox for OAB can be an effective therapy, this type of OAB treatment isn’t right for everyone with the condition. For example, if you have a history of chronic UTIs, your provider may recommend a different therapy, like medication or neuromodulation with InterStim® therapy. 

Because the best treatment for OAB depends on multiple factors, including your overall health and the severity of your condition, it’s best to see a urologist for an evaluation to determine if Botox can help you. 

Generally, Botox for OAB might be right for you if you’re in good overall health and:

Learn if Botox for OAB is right for you by scheduling an appointment at Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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