Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Why Should I Choose UCPA For Overactive Bladder Treatment?

UCPA is the best choice because our physicians and staff are dedicated to finding the right solution for the right patient. We take pride in offering the complete range of appropriate options, from conservative to surgical, and in helping you make an informed choice. Because we are trained and experienced in treating overactive bladder, we will offer you the best chance to improve your quality of life.

The Patriot News recently featured Dr. Vanessa Elliott as an expert on the treatment of overactive bladder. This article discusses successful treatment options for patients suffering from OAB.

What Is Overactive Bladder?

OAB is a condition with symptoms of urinary frequency and urgency, and may include urinary leakage. Patients experience a bothersome urge and are unable to get to the bathroom on time.

Who Gets OAB?

It is a common condition, afflicting over 33 million Americans. It affects men and women of all ages, but is more common in female adults.

Is It Really A Problem?

Yes, it is. Patients with OAB suffer physical and emotional harm from the problem. They have been shown to have a significantly decreased quality of life. OAB causes extreme embarrassment - limiting social interactions, employment opportunities, trips outside the home, promoting social isolation and depression.

It is not unusual for patients to dehydrate themselves in order to minimize the symptoms of OAB, which may have other unintended health consequences such as falls and hip fractures among the elderly. Patients often spend hundreds of dollars annually on pads and diapers in order to contain the leakage.

What Can Be Done About OAB?

Many options exist! Most people are aware that there are medications for the woman who has “gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now!” However, despite of the fact that many brands of medication have been available for decades, they all have similar success rates. For most patients, particularly younger ones with few other health concerns, they prove to be a limited and unsustainable solution for the problem due to incomplete benefit and side effects. Common side effects include dry mouth and constipation. Plus, medications don’t solve the problem; they simply attempt to minimize the symptoms. While medications are an option for all patients, other options are often more successful and desirable.

At UCPA, we have developed the OAB pathway. This pathway includes all of the treatments that are currently proven to work for OAB and can be provided to you at your visit.

Conservative options – Many of our patients will present ready to start with conservative steps that, in addition to drugs, include behavioral therapies, biofeedback or physical therapy. Patients are often surprised with the effectiveness of conservative options. We are always satisfied when something simple, inexpensive, safe, and reversible proves to be the right solution for a patient. Your physician at UCPA will work with a network of other providers to provide these conservative therapies.

Advanced options – Some of our patients will have tried and failed conservative options, and this provides a starting point for advanced therapies for OAB. Advanced therapies implantable devices that are like a pacemaker (InterStim) as well as injection of the bladder with Botox – both can be used to successfully treat OAB symptoms. Each option has pros and cons for an individual patient, and our providers are experts in helping patients to weigh the risks and benefits and decide which option will be best suit each individual patient.

We are dedicated to helping patients with this problem, and will continue to work to improve symptoms and with the increasingly wide range of options, which are currently available. If a patient is still being bothered by symptoms, we will continue to offer appropriate solutions. There is rarely a patient with this problem who we cannot help.

How Is OAB Evaluated?

The good old-fashioned history and physical examination are often all that’s needed to get started with successful treatment. We also check the urine for signs of infection or blood, and in some cases recommend additional urine tests or a cystoscopy (endoscopic exam of the bladder). When patients fail conservative therapies, they may need specialized testing of the bladder called urodynamics. We need to fully understand the problem and direct you to the safest and best option for your particular condition. Both the work-up and the treatment for OAB may be different for one patient versus another due to patients’ unique medical conditions.