Urologic Conditions & Treatments

Botulinum Toxin Chattanooga TN

What is botulinum toxin for overactive bladder?

Botulinum Toxin OAB TNFor some patients, the urinary frequency, urgency and leakage of Overactive Bladder (OAB) may not be fully controlled with medications. Other patients may have intolerable side effects or may have other medical conditions that limit the usefulness of medications for OAB. For these patients, certain other OAB therapies, often called Advanced Therapies, may be appropriate treatment for OAB.


Small amounts of botulinum toxin may be injected into wall of the bladder, through a special scope (called a cystoscope), to control the urinary frequency, urgency and leakage of OAB. Injection of botulinum toxin into the bladder wall helps to block the signals from your bladder that make you feel as though you need to urinate frequently and urgently, and can help patients with urinary leakage.

What is involved with botulinum toxin injection for overactive bladder?

Botulinum toxin is injected into the bladder while looking in your bladder through a small scope called a cystoscope. The injection may be done in the office or under sedation in the operating room, depending on your preference. If you choose to have the procedure in the office, a numbing medicine is put into the bladder and your urine tube (urethra) to minimize discomfort.

While looking through the scope into your bladder, we inject small amounts of botulinum toxin throughout the bladder using a needle and syringe. This takes about 10-15 minutes. You are checked to make sure that you are able to urinate before leaving for home. It typically takes about 2 weeks to begin seeing the results of the therapy.

The improvement seen with botulinum toxin treatment usually lasts at least 6-8 months before symptoms return and repeat injection is necessary.

Are there risks associated with botulinum toxin for overactive bladder?

The most common side effects seen with botulinum toxin treatment are urinary tract infections, pain with urination and difficulty emptying the bladder (called urinary retention).

Around 6-7% of patients who undergo botulinum toxin treatment will have difficulty emptying their bladders afterward. This may result in the need to empty your with a small catheter. This effect will wear off over time but may last several weeks to months.

Who should consider botulinum toxin for overactive bladder?

Advanced Therapies, including botulinum toxin injection, are appropriate for patients with moderate or severe symptoms of Overactive Bladder (OAB) including urinary frequency, urgency or leakage (incontinence), who have continued bothersome symptoms after other treatments or who are not able to use other treatments.

Botulinum toxin injection into the bladder is not for everyone. Patients who would have difficulty if catheterization were needed should consider other therapies.

What is my next step?

At The OAB Clinic at Erlanger East, we have extensive experience with all available treatment options for OAB, including botulinum toxin injections. Our OAB Clinic is headed by the only urologist in the region with fellowship training that includes a focus on incontinence. Visit the OAB Clinic for a full evaluation and review your options for taking control of your bladder symptoms.

If you think a botulinum toxin injection is the solution for your overactive bladder in Chattanooga, Cleveland, and East Ridge, TN, fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.

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