Not too many people want to talk about it, but overactive bladder impacts 30 million Americans. Could a zap to the ankle fix the problem? Learn about a unique new drug-free treatment.
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Reporter: For 20 years Linda Krogstad tried to work in her garden, but Mother Nature always interrupted. Linda Krogstad: I have no control over it. Reporter: Sometimes 20 times a day. Linda Krogstad: I tried everything. Reporter: Her over active bladder was holding her hostage. Linda: I pretty much stayed around the house. Reporter: Drugs, physical therapy and surgery didn’t work so she tried something new. Linda Krogstad: That’s kind of a weird sensation. Reporter: It’s called “Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation” or PTNS. Dr. Suzette Sutherland: We’re trying to target the nerve that’s coming down the leg called the tibial nerve. Reporter: Urologist insert a small needle near the ankle and attach a device that sends electrical pulses up the leg to the sacral plexus, a major nerve super highway in the pelvis that controls the bladder. Dr. Suzette Sutherland: It sort of changes the way the nerves are perceiving what’s going on in the pelvic area just to try and get all of that messaging and information to calm down. Reporter: Patient sits while the device stimulates the nerve for 30 minutes, two to four times a month for three months. The treatment last for about a month and then the routine is repeated. Recent studies found PTNS works, as well as meds without side effects. 55% of patients in one trial reported significant improvement. The problem is its cost. It’s not always covered by insurance and it could run $200.00 a session up to $1000.00 a month. Linda Krogstad: I like that I could go in every two weeks. I didn’t have to have anything put into my body. Reporter: Now Linda sets her own schedule. Linda Krogstad: It’s just nice to be able to be outside and not have to run to the bathroom all the time. Reporter: Life uninterrupted.
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