Overactive bladder (OAB) is such a common condition that many people assume it’s a normal part of aging. The symptoms of OAB include a sudden and uncontrollable need to urinate, which can result in urine leakage. OAB can significantly impact a person's quality of life, leading to emotional distress and social isolation. While there are several treatment options for OAB, some may not be effective enough to manage the symptoms. When other treatments fail to help, NURO Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation ( NURO PTNM) may be an option.
PTNM is a minimally invasive therapy that can greatly improve the symptoms of OAB. Here is everything you need to know if you’re considering PTNM as a treatment option.
What is NURO PTNM?
The NURO system, developed by Medtronic, is a portable, battery-powered device that delivers mild electrical impulses to the tibial nerve through a thin needle electrode. These electrical pulses help regulate communication between the bladder and the brain. The treatment is non-surgical, does not require anesthesia, and is done in the doctor’s office.
How does PTNM work?
PTNM works by modulating the nerve signals responsible for bladder control. A small, thin needle electrode is inserted through the skin near the ankle and into the tibial nerve. Mild electrical impulses then travel along the nerve pathway to the sacral nerves. By stimulating the tibial nerve, PTNM helps restore normal communication between the bladder and the brain, improving bladder control and reducing OAB symptoms.
Who can benefit from PTNM?
PTNM is an option for patients suffering from OAB who have not found relief with conservative treatments such as lifestyle modifications, pelvic floor exercises, or medication. It is also an option for those who are not candidates for, or do not wish to undergo, more invasive surgical procedures.
Before starting PTNM therapy, your urologist will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine if this treatment is appropriate for your specific situation.
What can you expect during PTNM treatment?
The PTNM treatment process is typically performed in your urologist’s office. You will be seated comfortably during the procedure, which usually takes about 30 minutes.
Your doctor will thoroughly clean your skin and insert the electrode into your ankle. The PTNM device will be connected to the electrode, and mild electrical impulses will be delivered to stimulate the tibial nerve. You may feel a mild tingling sensation in your foot or toes once the electrical impulses begin, but many do not find this too uncomfortable.
What is the treatment schedule for PTNM?
The treatment schedule usually consists of 12 weekly sessions, each lasting about 30 minutes. After the initial 12-week treatment period, your urologist may recommend maintenance treatments. The frequency of maintenance treatments will be determined based on your individual needs and progress.
What are the potential side effects of PTNM?
NURO PTNM is a safe and well-tolerated treatment for OAB. Some patients may experience mild discomfort at the needle insertion site or a tingling sensation during the procedure, but these side effects are generally mild and temporary. There is a minimal risk of infection at the needle insertion site, but this is rare.
How effective is PTNM?
Clinical studies have shown that PTNM can significantly improve OAB symptoms. Many patients experience reduced urinary frequency, urgency, and incontinence episodes after completing the initial 12-week treatment program. Some people’s symptoms are completely resolved. Individual results may vary, and the degree of improvement depends on the severity of your OAB symptoms.
What are the advantages of PTNM over other treatments for OAB?
NURO PTNM offers several advantages over other treatments for OAB, making it an ideal choice for many patients.
- Minimally invasive: Unlike surgical interventions, PTNM is a non-surgical, low-risk procedure that does not require anesthesia or incisions.
- Outpatient treatment: The procedure is performed in an outpatient setting, allowing you to return to your daily activities immediately after each session.
- No systemic side effects: As PTNM directly targets the tibial nerve, it does not cause the systemic side effects often associated with medications used to treat OAB.
- Customizable therapy: The treatment frequency and intensity can be adjusted based on your needs and progress, providing a personalized approach to managing your OAB symptoms.
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