There are several very good drugs that are used by the urologist for the symptoms of an overactive bladder. Several have very detailed and informative websites which also feature help hotlines. Below are a few that we have found helpful.
If the issue is motor or bladder irritability-medicines are used
If the issue is nerve related-then the InterStim device is used
By the time the OAB patient sees a urologist, they usually have been seen by another doctor and did not improve on the initial medicines. These medicines for OAB are called anti-cholinergics and work on the muscles of the bladder. If a patient does not improve suitably to medicines such as Detrol, Enablex, Ditropan, Vesicare, Gelnique, or Sanctura, then it may be time to purse the InterStim trial. This trial, or InterStim test, helps determine if more medical options should be tried ( a bladder muscle problem) of if the patient and doctor should proceed to the Interstim permanent implant (a nerve or sensory problem).
One of the advantages the physicians of the Northeast Georgia Urological Associates have is the ability to do this trial as an out patient in our Ambulatory Surgery Center. Upon arriving for the 30 minute procedure, the patient and their family will only be steps away from the waiting room. All of the advantages of a hospital operating room are available, but without the inconvenience. Most patients will know in days if the InterStim is beneficial to them. At the follow up visit at one week, the doctor and patient will decide if it should be removed (which takes only seconds) or plans made to convert it to a permanent device. The permanent device is inserted into the fatty tissue of the buttock and is much like a pacemaker for the heart. Think of it as a "pacemaker for the bladder." If successful, all of the side effects common to medicines and the cost and inconvenience of taking them go away. The test, if negative, is helpful too as it allows the urologist to continue on a medicine pathway in an attempt to eradicate your irritative voiding symptoms.