Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS) Chattanooga TN
What is percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation?
In some patients, medications may not be effective enough in controlling the symptoms of Overactive Bladder (OAB) and they may still suffer bothersome urinary frequency, urgency or urine leakage. In others, side effects or medical conditions that interfere with taking OAB medications may limit their usefulness. In these patients, other therapies including Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS) may be an option.
Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation uses tiny electrical signals to modify the way that the message about when you need to urinate is sent from the bladder to the brain. This helps the brain and bladder communicate in a more normal way and improves the urinary frequency, urgency and urine leakage in many patients.
How is percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation used?
In the office, a very thin needle is placed beneath the skin, near your ankle. This needle is attached to a hand-held controller that sends a signal to a nerve that runs in this area. That signal can reduce the sensation of needing to void suddenly, the frequency with which you urinate, or the number of times that you may leak urine. The needle is removed after 30 minutes of stimulation.
During the therapy, you will feel a mild pulsing in the bottom of the foot on the side we are stimulating. This is not painful and is usually very well tolerated by patients. The treatment lasts for 30 minutes and, initially occurs weekly for 12 weeks. After 12 weeks, if you are seeing improvement, treatments can continue, usually about every 4-8 weeks. The benefits of treatment continue during the time between stimulations. That is to say, the beneficial effect of the therapy lasts long beyond the 30 minutes of the actual stimulation.
How effective is percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation?
About 60-70% of patients respond to Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS), with symptoms decreasing by at least half. The improvement in frequency of urination and amount of incontinence can be maintained with continued therapy for years after the beginning of treatment.
Are there any side effects from the treatment?
One advantage of Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS) is a low rate of side effects or complications. PTNS is not recommended if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator, have problems with excessive bleeding, or if you are pregnant. A few patients will experience mild pain or irritation at the site of stimulation, but the therapy is generally very well tolerated.
What is my next step?
At The OAB Clinic at Erlanger East, we have extensive experience with many forms of treatment for Overactive Bladder (OAB), including Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS). We have the only urologists in the region who have completed advanced fellowship training including a focus on incontinence. In addition to expertise in diagnosis and management of OAB, we offer the convenience of a dedicated OAB Clinic to provide you with many options for management of your incontinence.
Schedule an appointment with The OAB Clinic for your evaluation and let us help you to take control of the urinary symptoms that are interfering with your life.