How is Botox being used for incontinence?

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Botox injections can be used to treat urge urinary incontinence, says Victor Grigoriev, MD, a urologist at MountainView Hospital. In this video, he describes how Botox works to relax the muscles of the bladder, and how the procedure is performed.
Botulinum toxin (Botox), best known for its ability to smooth a furrowed brow by paralyzing forehead muscles, is sometimes used to relieve severe overactive bladder (frequent urination and urges to urinate) by weakening the detrusor muscle's ability to contract. (The detrusor muscle enables the bladder to expand and store liquid until urination.) Under anesthesia, your physician passes a cystoscope (a lighted telescope at the end of a thin tube) through the urethra into the bladder, then injects the toxin directly into the detrusor muscle in many locations. 
Botox, which are injections of a certain toxin that causes botulism, is a popular choice in eliminating wrinkles, but it's also possible that it could eliminate urinary incontinence as well. Botox injections into the bladder may help with certain forms of urinary incontinence, particularly overactive bladder, which is urge incontinence without any known cause. The Botox is injected using a cystoscope, a thin instrument threaded into the bladder. Studies have shown that it decreases urinary frequency and incontinence in people with overactive bladder. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.