Taking action against her overactive bladder
A urogynecologist put an end to her frequent urination issues.
As a nursing director at an assisted living facility, 45-year-old Christina Myers of Selinsgrove knows how to help people whose medical conditions limit their abilities. And she can empathize, having had an overactive bladder since high school.
“I couldn’t travel anywhere without knowing where all the bathrooms were. I got up to pee five or six times a night. It was awful,” she says. Ms. Myers’ frequent urination needs forced her to use the bathroom many times throughout the day. “People really didn’t understand what was going on with me,” she says. “They would tell me to drink less fluids. But it didn’t make a difference.”
Over the years, doctors had prescribed medication, but nothing seemed to help.
Sacral nerve stimulation brings relief
An overactive bladder signals an urgent need to urinate even when it isn’t full. Geisinger urogynecologist James Daucher, MD, suggested sacral nerve stimulation, otherwise known as a “bladder pacemaker,” to relieve Ms. Myers’ symptoms.
With sacral nerve stimulation, a device is implanted just under the skin of the upper buttock to regulate faulty electrical signals between the bladder and the brain. Dr. Daucher has been performing the procedure for 15 years and is among the top 10 percent of implanters in the country.
“With overactive bladder, little senses are perceived as big senses,” he explains. “People with the disorder may urinate 20 times a day. The data from sacral nerve stimulation therapy show a 60% improvement, on average, which is far better than improvements with medications.”
For Ms. Myers, it was a life-changing solution
The surgery was quick and minimally invasive. Ms. Myers was back home the same day and recovered easily using ice and a little Tylenol to help manage the pain. She says she wished she’d learned about sacral nerve stimulation sooner and had the procedure done years ago.
“I have my life back,” Ms. Myers says. “I sleep through the night now. I can travel without having to stop or know where every gas station is or carry a portable toilet with me. I feel like I live a normal life now. I just want people to know there’s help.”
Why put up with an overactive bladder? Geisinger is the leading medical center in Pennsylvania for sacral nerve stimulation and was recently recognized as a Center of Excellence in this approach.