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Bladder Botox injections

What is Botox?

Botox is also known as Botulinum Toxin type A (or BoNTA). It is used to relax the bladder muscle so that the bladder capacity can increase. Most of our patients respond very nicely to this treatment and the effects can be life-changing.

Botox has been used in cosmetic surgery for many years to help relax facial muscles and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Botox works on the nerve endings of muscles, blocking the release of the chemical that causes the muscle to contract.

In patients with an overactive bladder, the bladder muscle often squeezes at the wrong time, causing a desperate urge to pass urine. This can be very distressing and may result in incontinence. Botox injections work by reducing these bladder contractions, allowing patients to control their bladders better. When simple bladder exercises and tablets don't work, Botox is an effective remedy which can be performed under local anaesthetic.

How well do Botox bladder injections work?

In a recent study of Botox bladder injections, 100 patients had Botox injections into the bladder. These patients suffered from overactive bladder symptoms and incontinence caused by involuntary contractions of the bladder.

After the injections, 85% of patients had no further incontinence and 80% didn't have to rush to the toilet as much. Tests showed that the involuntary bladder contractions had stopped in 75% of patients and there were no long-term complications.

Richard Parkinson performs all Bladder Botox injections at Nottingham City Hospital and constantly monitors the results. He has published two articles in the last two years on the use of Botox for bladder problems. The success rate in Nottingham is 89% with beneficial effects lasting on average for 10 months.

About 85% of patients will notice an improvement

in their symptoms after their first treatment.

How are Botox bladder injections given?

Botox bladder injections can either be performed with a general anaesthetic (the patient goes to sleep) or local anaesthetic. Either way, most patients can home on the same day. A gel containing local anaesthetic is applied to the water pipe to make it more comfortable. A narrow telescope is then passed into the bladder though the urethra and a very fine needle is used to do the injections. The injections can sometimes be uncomfortable, but not usually painful. The procedure takes about 20 minutes to do.

Some patients notice a trace of blood in the urine afterwards. This quickly settles within a day or two.

Richard Parkinson is the principal incontinence specialist at Nottingham Urology Centre and has been giving bladder Botox injections since 2003. Last year, he performed over 150 Botox procedures.

How long will the benefits of Botox last?

In expert hands, around 85% of patients will experience an improvement in their bladder symptoms. Botox injections can take up to 2 weeks to take effect. The beneficial effects last approximately 9 months, but can last considerably longer. Repeated injections of Botox can be given once the effects have worn off.

Costs of Botox bladder injections

Because of the high number of cases performed, we have been able to significantly reduce the costs of Botox injections for our patients. The cost of Bladder Botox Injections is currently just over £1000, which includes the cost of the Botox, the procedure itself and all fees.