I was fortunate to be able to attend the American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS) Annual Scientific Meeting in October. Attendees traveled to Seattle from around the globe to learn about the latest scientific breakthroughs for various urogynecologic conditions. I would like to share some of the highlights among the many new findings and reports.
Botox was approved by the FDA in 2013 as a treatment option for individuals who suffer from overactive bladder. Overactive bladder affects an estimated 17 to 53 million Americans. Frequent urination – the main symptom associated with overactive bladder – is defined as having to use the restroom more than eight times in 24 hours. Other symptoms may include waking up more than two times per night to urinate; urgency, or a sudden and strong desire to urinate; and urge incontinence, or accidentally wetting yourself due to not getting to a bathroom in time.Positive Data on Prolonged Use of Botox to Treat Overactive Bladder
There are a variety of treatment options for patients who suffer from overactive bladder. Botox works by reducing bladder contractions and possibly decreasing the nerve signals that travel from the bladder to the brain, telling the brain that the bladder is full. The result is that the number of leakage episodes decreases and bladder capacity increases; thus increasing the amount of time between going to the bathroom.
At the AUGS meeting, new information about the prolonged use of Botox was presented. We have always known that Botox injections do not last forever, with most women needing two to three injections per year. Studies reveal that in women who have received up to six total Botox injections (over approximately three and a half years), no new side effects have developed and each subsequent injection has continued to work as well as each prior injection. This data shows that Botox is an appropriate and effective long-term treatment option for women suffering from overactive bladder.
Successful Outcomes Five Years After Sacrocolpoplexies
Sacrocolpoplexy is a surgical procedure that treats moderate to severe pelvic organ prolapse. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the connective tissue of the pelvic floor muscle is weakened allowing one or more of the organs in the pelvis to drop down. In some women, this downward descent can result in the protrusion of the vagina, uterus or both. Pelvic organ prolapse affects approximately half of the women who have had children by vaginal delivery. Other factors that can contribute to prolapse include advancing age, obesity, hysterectomy, chronic straining and abnormalities of the connective tissue.
An abdominal sacrocolpoplexy corrects the supporting muscles, ligaments and tissues of the vagina by placing mesh abdominally to support the vagina.
At the AUGS meeting, new data was presented about the longevity of the sacrocolpoplexy procedure. Five years after having sacrocolpoplexies, 80 to 90 percent of women continued to have both subjective and objective successful outcomes. In addition, women experienced extremely low rates of complications.
This data shows that both Botox and sacrocolpoplexy are appropriate and effective long-term treatment options for women suffering from overactive bladder and pelvic organ prolapse, respectively.
(Article taken from http://blog.virginiawomenscenter.com/)
By Tovia M. Smith, M.D.