Many of us don't think twice about a trip to the grocery store, an afternoon lunch with friends or even getting a good night's sleep. But for the 30 million people who suffer from urinary incontinence, all those can be stressful and embarrassing situations. In this month's Health Check report, we look at how a new treatment is changing lives - one implant at a time.
Three woman share one common problem.
Michelle Steele said, "I had to stay home because I could be out in public at Shopko or where ever and I would just drench. I had absolutely no idea or no feeling when I was going to have to go to the bathroom. I would just totally empty."
Ruth Vaughan said, "I'd get up in the middle of the night and try to run to the bathroom and have urine running down my legs."
Stephany Condon added, , "Dribbling, embarrassment going, 'Oh boy, it's going to show'."
After trying everything from medication to alternative treatments. Urologist Ansar Khan told them about InterStim Therapy for Urinary Control.
Dr. Kahn said, "InsterStim therapy basically does neuromodulation or stimulates the nerve to the bladder."
The process is simple - beginning with a small wire.
"The wire goes in and lies against the nerve and the results are immediate. Within a day or two you know whether you've had an excellent response or you have not had a response - and if you've had a good response, which will occur in about 75- 80 percent of people we can go ahead and put in the permanent implant," said Dr. Kahn.
Serese Cole, "What's so unique about this therapy is that the patient is always is control. A remote allows them to adjust the intensity so they're always getting the best results."
Dr. Khan said, "When it works - it is almost like a miracle."
Because after years of battling their bladder....
"I could get out, I could do things, I could go for my walks, I could go shopping and not have the fear," said Michelle.
"It was a Godsend to me," Ruth said.
Stephany said, 'It's wonderful."
Wonderful to have their lives back and not have to worry about their bladder or the bathroom anymore.
Nationwide, 100,000 women have been helped with The InterStim Therapy. Dr. Khan has treated about 100 women, ages 18 to 88 and his success rate is good - 80 to 90 percent. The minimally invasive procedure is covered by insurance and Medicare.