Medtronic and Bladder Control

More than 37 million adults in the United States – one in six – suffer from overactive bladder, defined as urge incontinence (leaking) and urgency frequency (frequent urges to urinate). Overactive bladder and urinary retention (the inability to completely empty the bladder) are not a normal part of the aging process, often cause embarrassment, and can affect the quality of daily living dramatically. Although often underreported, nearly 18 million Americans – about one in 121 – have bowel incontinence (the inability to hold a bowel movement until reaching a bathroom and/or accidental stool leakage). Despite the socially devastating stigma and embarrassment associated with bowel incontinence, also known as fecal incontinence, it is often caused by an underlying medical problem and may be treatable.

Bladder Control Treatment Options

  • Behavioral Techniques include lifestyle changes, fluid and diet modification, bladder
    retraining, Kegel exercises or other kinds of physical therapy.
  • Oral Medications are thought to target the muscles associated with bladder function.
    However, these drugs may cause side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, eye
    problems or urine buildup, which in some cases cannot be tolerated.
  • Medtronic Sacral Neuromodulation delivered by InterStim® therapy for urinary control is the world’s first system to use mild electrical pulses to stimulate the nerves that control the bladder and muscles related to urination; a minimally invasive implant helps the brain and nerves to communicate so the bladder can function properly and may be an option for patients with overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms or (non-obstructive) urinary retention who have failed or could not tolerate more conservative treatments.