There is a ray of hope, albeit an expensive one, for patients who are struggling with overactive bladder and have exhausted all the existing treatment modes without much success. There are now implantable systems that can send electrical pulses to nerves that modulate neural activity and influence the lower urinary tract and in the process treat complete loss of bladder control.
Dubbed as Sacral Neuromodulation, the urologists at Apollo Hospitals on Thursday said that they have implanted an electrode in the lower spinal region of a 65-year-old woman, K. Anuradha.
While traditional drugs for urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control act on the muscles, the Sacral Neuromodulation is based on the concept of controlling the symptoms of incontinence by controlling nerves.
According to urologists, such implants have been in use for a long time in the west, but are recent additions in India. The traditional methods of treating overactive bladder are to change lifestyle, adopt exercises, lead healthy and active life, avoid drinking and smoking. Another method includes drugs meant to help control the muscles. Botox injections are also used for bladder control.
“When every traditional option fails, we can use implants to control overactive bladder. They are expensive, but definitely improve the quality of life because overactive bladder patients can’t lead a normal social life. For such patients, this technique is a solution,” says senior urologist, Apollo Hospitals, Sanjay Sinha.
While the implant cost is between Rs. 5 and Rs. 6 lakh, Apollo Hospitals and device manufacturer waived-off the costs for the patient.