(BPT) - It was the everyday struggles that really got to Peggy Smith. Smith couldn't even make it to the grocery store without stopping to find a bathroom, let alone enjoy activities with her family and 13 grandkids.
'My overactive bladder symptoms ran my life. I quit going places and couldn't sleep through the night,' says Smith, one of the more than 37 million adults in the United States - almost one in six - who suffer from overactive bladder (OAB).
Overactive bladder can be an embarrassing and debilitating condition; people who suffer often limit activities, avoid social engagements and restrict their diet.Finding relief for OAB is complex because many believe the misconception that incontinence is a normal part of aging they must just live with. And, among those who do seek treatment, 80 percent of patients prescribed oral medications to treat their OAB symptoms stop taking them by 12 months, studies show.
There is hope for people with OAB. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of the Verify® Evaluation System for basic evaluations, which last three to seven days. These shorter evaluations are a faster way to assess the potential for long-term restoration of bladder or bowel function.
Before making a long-term commitment, the Verify System allows patients who did not find relief with more conservative treatments to determine if mild electrical stimulation of the sacral nerves may provide long-term relief. It's used for those suffering from chronic symptoms of overactive bladder, non-obstructive urinary retention or bowel incontinence. Following a successful evaluation period, patients can choose to receive long-term therapy with an implantable system.
'Many patients suffering from OAB have failed multiple treatments and the Verify System for Basic Evaluations uses new technology to make it easier and faster for patients to assess the potential for effective long-term bladder control,' says Steven Siegel, M.D., director, Metro Urology Centers for Female Urology and Continence Care, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 'Trying sacral neuromodulation before committing to the therapy allows patients to make a long-term decision with confidence and with an excellent chance to get their lives back.'
Test driving sacral neuromodulation before committing to the therapy assured Smith, who underwent a four-day trial with the Verify System for Basic Evaluations, it might provide the long-term relief she so desperately wanted.' Oral medications didn't work for me and I was skeptical about trying this. But after this simple trial, I knew the therapy could work.'
Smith went on to receive Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy and has been pleased with her results. 'Now with this therapy I can go places again and not worry about wetting myself,' Smith says. 'It's a chance to be normal.'
Medtronic Bladder Control and Bowel Control Therapies, delivered by the InterStim system, provide mild electrical stimulation of the sacral nerves, which are located near the tailbone and help control bladder and bowel function. The therapy is thought to help normalize communication between the bladder or bowel and the brain, and it is clinically proven to eliminate or greatly reduce bladder or bowel control symptoms and significantly improve quality of life. The Verify System is used following a minimally invasive in-office or outpatient procedure.
'Today I'm hopeful again. I have the freedom to be spontaneous and feel more like myself. I got to go to my class reunion and it was wonderful,' Smith says.
This treatment is not for everyone; a prescription is required. People should discuss potential surgical risks with their doctors. In addition to risks related to a surgical procedure, complications from this therapy can include pain, infection, sensation of electrical shock, device problems, undesirable change in voiding function, and lead migration, among others.
For more about potential benefits and risks, visit everyday-freedom.com, call Medtronic at 1-800-328-0810, or consult Medtronic's website at www.medtronic.com.