PTNS Treatment: Is it Effective in Treating Overactive Bladder?

    ptns treatment

    PTNS treatment can help people with overactive bladder (OAB). But what is PTNS, and does it work well for OAB? Let’s discuss it further and also see how it compares to other treatment options.

    What is PTNS?

    PTNS, or Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation, is a non-surgical treatment for overactive bladder (OAB). It involves putting a small needle near the ankle to target a nerve that controls the bladder. This nerve, called the tibial nerve, helps manage bladder function. PTNS sends mild electrical pulses to the tibial nerve to help calm down nerve activity, easing the bothersome symptoms of OAB.

    Is it an effective treatment option?

    Many studies show that PTNS treatment works well for managing the different symptoms of OAB. People often see big improvements in urgency, how often they need to pee, leaking, and waking up at night to go to the bathroom after PTNS therapy. Patients usually have weekly treatments for a few weeks and then fewer sessions to keep feeling better.

    How is an overactive bladder usually treated?

    When dealing with overactive bladder (OAB), doctors usually start with simple methods to help control symptoms. One common approach is bladder retraining, where you gradually try to hold your pee for longer periods. Making lifestyle changes can also help, like watching how much you drink and avoiding things like caffeine and alcohol that can irritate your bladder. Doing exercises called Kegels can also strengthen your pelvic muscles and make it easier to control your bladder.

    If simple methods don’t work, doctors may prescribe medicines to help with overactive bladder (OAB). These medications, like anticholinergics and beta-3 adrenergic agonists, work by either blocking certain signals in the bladder or making the bladder muscles relax. This helps reduce the feeling of urgently needing to go to the bathroom and how often you need to go.

    If medicines don’t help enough or cause bad side effects, doctors may suggest more intense treatments. These can include methods like sacral nerve stimulation or injections of botulinum toxin into the bladder. These techniques aim to change how nerves work in the bladder and pelvic area. In serious cases, surgery like bladder augmentation or urinary diversion might be considered if other treatments don’t work.

    How does PTNS compare to other treatment options?

    PTNS has many benefits compared to usual OAB treatments. Unlike medicines that can cause whole-body side effects like dry mouth or constipation, PTNS targets only the nerves related to bladder control, reducing the risk of whole-body problems. Plus, PTNS is non-invasive, meaning it doesn’t require surgery or anesthesia, making it safer and easier for many people.

    When we compare PTNS to other treatments like sacral nerve stimulation, PTNS is less invasive and has fewer problems. With sacral nerve stimulation, a device gets implanted under the skin to send electric pulses to the sacral nerves. But PTNS just needs a small needle near the ankle to stimulate the tibial nerve. Because of this, PTNS has fewer risks during surgery and is more comfortable for patients.

    Moreover, many patients really like PTNS and stick with it. They find it easy to handle and see big improvements in their OAB symptoms after getting PTNS treatment. Because it works well, has few side effects, and doesn’t need surgery, PTNS is a good option for people looking for a helpful and easy treatment for an overactive bladder.

    Are there risks to the treatment?

    Although PTNS is usually safe for treating OAB, it’s important to know about the possible risks. Most people having PTNS feel only a bit of tingling or discomfort where the needle goes in. These feelings usually go away quickly after each treatment and don’t need extra care.

    While it’s very rare to have serious issues with PTNS, it’s important to stay aware and tell your doctor about any unusual feelings or worries right away. Although PTNS is generally safe, things like your medical history or other health problems could affect your chances of having any problems. Chatting openly with a doctor helps decide if PTNS therapy is right. Considering the risks and benefits will help patients manage OAB confidently.

    Is PTNS an expensive treatment option?

    The price of PTNS treatment can differ based on where you live, the fees of healthcare providers, and whether your insurance covers it.

    Usually, one PTNS session costs between $200 and $300. Patients often need a series of sessions spread over several weeks. Afterward, they might have maintenance sessions to keep up the benefits. Overall, a full PTNS treatment, including all sessions, might involve around 12 to 18 treatments.

    So, the total bill for PTNS therapy can be around $2,400 to $5,400 for the whole treatment. Keep in mind that these are just estimates and could vary based on your needs and choices.

    Patients should check if their insurance covers PTNS therapy costs. Some insurance plans might pay for part or all of the treatment. Talking to healthcare providers about payment plans or financing can also make PTNS more manageable for those dealing with an overactive bladder.

    Is PTNS worth trying?

    If you’re thinking about trying PTNS treatment for overactive bladder (OAB), you might be wondering if it’s worth it. Here are some things to think about: 

    • Effectiveness: Lots of studies have shown that PTNS works well for improving OAB symptoms like needing to pee urgently, going to the bathroom a lot, and accidental leaks. Many people feel a lot better after they’ve had a few PTNS sessions. But keep in mind that everyone’s different, so not everyone will see the same results.
    • Safety: Most people find PTNS safe and easy to handle for OAB. Any side effects are usually not serious and don’t last long. Serious problems are rare, so PTNS is a good option for those who want to avoid surgery for OAB.
    • Convenience: PTNS is simpler than surgery and doesn’t need an operation. It happens at the doctor’s office. Though you need to visit regularly, it’s not a big bother for most people. It doesn’t disrupt your day very much.
    • Cost: While PTNS treatment might cost money at first, many people see it as a good investment. It could save money in the long run compared to surgery or taking medicine for a long time.

    In the end, deciding if PTNS is right for you depends on what you want, your treatment goals, and what your doctor suggests. It’s important to talk to your doctor to figure out the best plan for managing your OAB symptoms.

    PTNS is an effective treatment for OAB

    To sum up, PTNS treatment is a hopeful option for people dealing with an overactive bladder. By targeting the tibial nerve, PTNS helps control bladder function and ease OAB symptoms. While more research is needed to fully understand its long-term effects and cost-effectiveness, current studies show that PTNS can bring significant relief for those looking for non-surgical ways to manage OAB. If you’re dealing with OAB symptoms, talk to your doctor to see if PTNS therapy could be right for you.