Broken Bladder

I don’t think there is a single woman on the planet who went into surgery for hysterectomy, prolapse or incontinence who thought to herself “This is high risk and I am taking a chance with my future”, but from my own experience and talking to many other woman that is exactly what can happen. With these surgeries we are not told of the high risk involved and the amount of serious side effects we will endure. In fact doctors tell women as little as possible and often cover up these risks so they can do the surgeries.

If you truly believed that by going into surgery your life would stop as you know it, would you do it? That is a question faced by so many, now that thousands of women have sued all the mesh manufacturers. It isn’t just the bladder it is the colon as well but this blog is going into details about what can happen to your bladder with these surgeries and various treatments.

If you Google ‘overactive bladder’ you will find a slew of reasons for this problem in women, but none will say ‘damage caused to the bladder by mesh’. No doctors cannot admit that one and yet I know many, many women that this has happened to including myself. Bladder spasms can be spasmodic or continuous and are extremely painful and many women wonder what they can do about it or at least try.

If mesh erodes through the bladder wall the damage will be extremely painful but it isn’t the only reason for bladder spasms. Scar tissue formed on the bladder, especially when the bladder attaches itself to the pelvic bone, has to be removed. Removing it from the delicate surface of the bladder is precarious and difficult and the surgeon no matter how skilled can easily make a small incision. I know this for a fact as it happened to me. Then the catheter has to remain for some time until the bladder heals.

Catheters are notorious for causing damage inside the bladder wall and constant infections which is another source for bladder spasms. Repeated surgeries on the bladder and the mesh removal itself can cause more damage and the result is a smaller bladder which means you have to urinate more often.

Bladder spasms and pain is just one of the serious side effects from mesh slings and if you are reading this and think “Oh well if it happens I can sue”, you need to understand that no amount of money can compensate for the loss of your normal life and the pain you will endure.

I am in touch with many women who have gone through multiple surgeries and they continue to endure bladder spasms even after all the mesh is gone and one recently told me about a treatment she may try that does not seem to have any side effects. This is an article I found about this treatment and I will provide you with the link so that you can read in full. It is called PTNS.

Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation

Overview: Electrical percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) is a peripheral technique that achieves its effect by periodic percutaneous stimulation of the posterior tibial nerve. PTNS is administered to improve urological symptoms including, but not limited to, urinary frequency, urgency, and urge incontinence.

1. Technology Assessment: Electrical stimulation of the tibial nerve has been proposed as a treatment option for urinary incontinence. The posterior tibial nerve is a mixed sensory and motor nerve containing fibers originating from the lumbar and sacral areas of the spine. The sacral nerves modulate the somatic and autonomic nerve supply to the bladder and urinary sphincter.

A fine needle is inserted into the skin just cephalad to the medial malleolus (at the SP6 acupuncture point) to access the posterior tibial nerve. A small surface electrode is then placed over the medial aspect of the calcaneus on the same leg. The lead wire is first connected to the stimulator, and then the needle electrode clip is connected to the needle electrode. The stimulator produces an adjustable electrical pulse that travels to the sacral nerve plexus via the tibial nerve. Stimulation is titrated from 0 to 10 mA, with fixed pulse 200 microseconds (μs) at frequency 20 hertz (Hz). Proper needle placement is confirmed with flexion of the great toe and/or ipsilateral digits 2 through 5. Patients may also notice stretching outward of their toes. PTNS stimulation should not cause pain. The stimulator is left with the patient controlling the power setting for 30 minutes. Treatments are given for 10 to 12 consecutive weeks. Maintenance treatment is usually needed and tailored to each specific patient.

 2. Literature Review: There is an increasing body of literature evaluating the use of PTNS for the treatment of urinary symptoms and incontinence. Some published RCTs have shown positive short-term results. However, further studies establishing long-term results and efficacy are needed.

Peters et al. (2013) published 3-year results of 29 patients. The patients had undergone the initial 12-week PTNS study and then were prescribe a fixed schedule 14-week tapering protocol followed by a personal PTNS treatment plan for overactive bladder symptoms. Patients received a median of 1.1 treatments per month over the 36 months. Results found improvements in median voids per day, nighttime voids, and urge incontinence episodes as compared to baseline.

A review by Schreiner et al. (2013) assessed the literature around electrical stimulation for urinary incontinence in women. The reviewers noted PTNS showed promising results with a short follow-up period, but further randomized trials are needed to determine the magnitude of benefits.

There is a lot more to read but I am sharing the highlights at the beginning of the article and you need to read everything to determine if you want to try this method. I hope to report back some results as to have this lady felt about it but it will take quite a long time before I can.

This is the full article about PTN stimulation

So what about Botox for bladder spasms?

I did know someone in the past who tried it and she was going to report back to me to see if it helped over a long period, but I never heard back from her. She did tell me that the first time she tried it she was able to go to a movie and sit all the way through it, but she also said it was very expensive.

To give you more information and various comments from women who have tried it, I did find a group where women were talking about their results and you can read their comments here You will also find links on this site for links where this treatment is offered.

In the past I did write a blog about medical marijuana and while researching this medical issue I found a great link about marijuana and bladder spasms and added the link to that blog. You can read it here

Recently I wrote a blog about a serious complication to the bladder and you can read that blog here

I hope this can help women who suffer from continuous bladder spasms and if you have tried one of more of these treatments please leave a comment to help others who are dealing with it. We all know that treatments will be different results for any women but perhaps you can explain how it helped or didn’t help and what your issues were before treatment. Thank you for sharing.

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