One of the exciting areas is the approval of the use of Botox injection for the treatment of urge urinary incontinence. This relatively simple outpatient can improve the quality of life for those suffering from urinary incontinence. Below, Dr. Toby Chai answers questions about this new procedure, which was recently FDA approved for the treatment of urge urinary incontinence.

Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI)

UUI is the leakage of urine associated with a strong urge and is often referred to as overactive bladder. Women with this condition do not feel they can hold their urine long enough to reach the restroom. UUI occurs when someone feels a strong urge to urinate and is unable to hold her urine until she gets to the restroom. A common cause of UUI is an uncontrollable contraction of the bladder which can result in leakage of a few drops of urine or more.

UUI Procedure

The UUI procedure is a fairly straightforward procedure. The Botox medication is directly injected into the bladder through a telescope that is placed in the bladder, and it's been shown to be very effective in treating overactive bladder. The patient does not have any sort of permanent implant.

When does it take effect?

The Botox action takes about five to eight days to start working and for a patient to start noticing less urges and less urinary incontinence.

How often are treatments/injections needed?

Botox lasts six months on the average, so a patient will need to be injected on the average, about every six to eight months.

Who is eligible for Botox treatments?

A patient who is complaining of overactive bladder/urinary urge incontinence may be a candidate to receive this treatment. The good thing about Botox is that there is no age range of who is a best candidate and it's not limited to one gender. However, this treatment is not used to treat stress urinary incontinence, which is a separate condition where an involuntary loss of urine that occurs during physical activity, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise.

Are there any side effects?

One potential side affect is that it may relax the bladder so much that the patient may need a catheter to empty the bladder for a short period of time. Other side effects include potential for urinary tract infections around the time of the Botox injection and slight bleeding. The Botox is fairly well tolerated by most patients.

UUI Procedure Benefits & Advantages

One benefit is that a patient doesn't need to take medications every day, thus avoiding some of the common side affects of oral medication such as dry mouth and constipation. Also, there is no implantation involved, so it's a less invasive procedure.

Why Choose the University of Maryland Medical Center

The University of Maryland's Center for Continence and Pelvic Health is a one stop-shop for patients with urinary incontinence. Our physicians have the training and expertise necessary to provide the most advanced care available for women with problems related to the lower urinary tract or pelvic floor. Our team of gynecologists and urologists work together to provide patients with the best evidence-based medicine to treat urinary incontinence.

More Information & Appointments

For more information or to make an appointment, please call 1-866-608-4228.