For patients experiencing symptoms of overactive bladder and incontinence, urologists at Ogden Clinic in Utah may recommend percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS). This non-surgical procedure poses few risks, and can help treat the nerves responsible for bladder and pelvic floor function. Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation is a form of electroacupuncture and is suitable for patients experiencing overactive bladder and urinary urgency, frequent urination, and/or incontinence.
During a PTNS procedure, you will elevate your foot on a pillow so it is comfortable and well-supported. Your doctor will then insert a slim needle electrode into the ankle near the tibial nerve. A device, called an Urgent PC Stimulator, is then connected to the electrode. The device will deliver mild electrical impulses to a group of nerves at the base of the spine that control bladder function, known as the sacral nerve plexus.
The stimulation of nerves through electrical impulses is called neuromodulation. This gentle procedure gradually works to improve bladder function and is relatively painless. It’s often described as a tingling or pulsing sensation in the foot. To be successful, the treatments must be administered over a series of 12-weekly sessions. Each session lasts about 30 minutes. Once the 12-week series is complete, patients may need intermittent treatments to maintain bladder function. Patients generally start to see an improvement in their symptoms after 5 to 6 weeks of treatment. Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation is a great option for patients suffering with uncomfortable bladder symptoms, as it is non-surgical, low risk, and carries no ongoing side effects.
While PTNS is a viable solution for many patients, it is not recommended for patients with pacemakers, those with bleeding disorders, or patients who are currently pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Ultimately, your doctor will determine if it is the right course of treatment for your bladder condition.
Are you experiencing symptoms of an overactive bladder or urinary incontinence? Contact the Urology Department at Ogden Clinic in Utah to schedule a consultation for percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation.