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Restoring Confidence through InterStim Therapy

Over 30 million Americans suffer from overactive bladder (OAB), many of whom are embarrassed to talk about their problem. Suffering from an overactive bladder not only can affect one's physical activity and self-esteem, but also can limit participation in normal daily activities.

For those who are struggling with OAB and believe that they have to live with the problem, or for those who have tried conventional medication without relief, InterStim Therapy may be a life-changing solution.

OAB results when the sacral nerves near the tailbone (which control the muscles surrounding the bladder) are not communicating properly with the brain. These nerves normally communicate with the bladder and its surrounding muscles telling it to function properly. Error in this process results in difficulty storing urine.

The proven method called InterStim Therapy has been developed to target the sacral nerves through an implant that sends continuous, mild electrical pulses to the nerves to stimulate communication with the brain. Those who are candidates for InterStim Therapy may undergo a trial treatment of InterStim to see if their symptoms are alleviated prior to moving forward with the implant.

InterStim Therapy has helped over 100,000 patients return to their normal daily activities without fear of embarrassment or inability to participate in activities, and Washington Health System is playing its part in restoring confidence through this therapy.

Dr. Malay Sheth, OB-GYN, has seen his patients' lives restored, now able to enjoy a normal lifestyle after receiving the implant. "Although OAB affects many aspects of daily life, many people do not tell their physician. For many, OAB is embarrassing to talk about, or they feel that they just have to 'live with it'. I want my patients to know that this is not something they have to live with … there is a life-changing solution available."

"Karen Sworden was one of my patients who had been experiencing symptoms of an overactive bladder for years, and after seeing her, I found that she was a candidate for InterStim," said Dr. Sheth. Karen explains, "I never dreamed that a solution was out there. I thought this was something I had to live with, but now after having the implant for four years, my life is dramatically changed! I am now able to fully enjoy my grandkids and live the active lifestyle that I always had before."

Dr. Jason Smith, Urologist at WHS, has also been treating his patients with InterStim Therapy. "My patient, Caroline, struggled for a long time with OAB. She had been on three different types of medication before she came to see me and was frustrated because nothing seemed to help," said Dr. Smith.

After being referred to Dr. Smith for InterStim, Caroline was finally relieved of the burden that had been plaguing her for years.

Caroline explains, "InterStim has been a life changing experience. It really has been a godsend… I can now go shopping and be in public without worrying about being embarrassed."

Just like these patients, you can take the first step towards a normal lifestyle by talking with a physician. OAB is an extremely common condition with a life-changing solution.

For more information on OAB and InterStim Therapy or to schedule an appointment, visit whsdocs.org or call one of the WHS offices: Washington Health System OBGYN Associates at 724-225-3640 Washington Health System Urology Specialists at 724-222-8871

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