Insights: Use of Botox® in Urology

Insights: Use of Botox in Urology

You may think of Botox® as a treatment for wrinkles, but it is also used to treat overactive bladder (OAB). OAB is basically the feeling that you've "gotta go" to the bathroom right away. You may leak urine when you feel this urge. Or you may feel the need to urinate many times during the day and night.

Botox® (also known as botulinum toxin), is made from the botulinum bacteria. It may be used to treat OAB if oral medications haven't worked. Botox relaxes the muscle of the bladder wall. It can help prevent the bladder muscles from squeezing too much giving you that "gotta go" feeling.

To treat OAB, the doctor passes an instrument called a cystoscope into the bladder to see the inside of the bladder. Then, the doctor injects tiny amounts of Botox into the bladder muscle. The procedure is performed in the doctor's office with local anesthesia. The treatment can last up to six months, and can be repeated if symptoms return.

Side effects after a Botox® injection into the bladder may include an increased risk of urinary tract infections. Up to one-quarter of patients also have urinary retention, which means the bladder can't empty completely on its own. If this happens, you may need to use a catheter temporarily until the bladder regains strength.

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