How does a bladder pacemaker work?

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Ja-Hong Kim, MD
Urology
A bladder pacemaker is a minimally invasive treatment option for people who have failed medical therapy for overactive bladder and urge incontinence. Under local anesthesia, doctors place a small electrode in your lower spine near the nerves that control your bladder. No one knows exactly how it works, but the theory behind it is that by modulating the response and the communication between the bladder and the brain, by giving these nerves an electrical shock, doctors can get them to respond in a different way. They then can control the bladder from having uncontrolled spasms. Once your doctor determines that this procedure helps you, he or she places an actual device -  a pacemaker that’s made by the same company that makes pacemakers for your heart - right above your buttocks.

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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.