What is bladder botox?
Bladder botox is a treatment that is used to ease the symptoms of an overactive bladder.
It can treat a number of conditions caused by overactivity of the muscles. It is injected directly into the muscle, binding onto nerve endings and blocking the release of a chemical that stops the muscle contracting. This causes the muscle to relax.
Botox can also be injected into the bladder to prevent overactivity. If you are experiencing bladder problems such as incontinence, a need to pass urine too frequently or difficulty in urinating, your doctor may recommend bladder botox.
Majority of women have this treatment as an outpatient procedure hence avoiding the risks associated with general anaesthesia.
Am I a good candidate for this treatment?
Bladder botox treatment is usually recommended for people who have tried and not responded to other options. If you are experiencing persistent bladder problems and have tried medication and behavioural treatments such as bladder training, this treatment could be suitable for you.
How does this treatment work?
The botox is injected directly into the muscles that control the bladder, causing them to relax. This can help to control symptoms of an overactive bladder, such as feeling the urge to urinate often or being unable to hold in urine. It works by binding onto the nerve endings in the bladder and blocking the release of a chemical that causes the muscle to contract.
It takes up to seven days for botox to fully work. However, you are likely to feel an improvement after the first couple of days as the botox starts to have an impact. Effects last for around four to six months, after which you may require a top-up if your symptoms return.
Recovery is usually pain-free and quick. However, you may notice a few unwelcome side effects post-treatment. In most cases, you will notice a reduction in your symptoms and can return to normal life almost straight away. You should make sure you get sufficient rest if you are feeling drowsy after the treatment.
If you experience blood in the urine after bladder botox treatment, you should drink plenty of water – at least two litres per day. This will help to flush out the bladder and prevent infection. In any case, it is important to drink lots of fluids after the treatment, as you may be prone to developing a bacterial infection (urinary tract infection) afterwards.
Sometimes, the procedure can be so effective that you may have difficulty passing urine at all afterwards. This side effect typically occurs around seven days after treatment. If it happens, you will need to self-catheterise until the impact subsides. This could take between six to 12 months, when the botox naturally wears off.