Patients’ lives being transformed by revolutionary bladder treatment at King’s Lynn hospital
- Credit: Ian Burt
A revolutionary treatment on offer in west Norfolk is giving hope to patients who are suffering from bladder problems.
The treatment, which is carried out in a dedicated clinical room, acts as a 'reset' button for men and women who have an overactive bladder. A pin is inserted just above the ankle which then sends an electrical stimulus to the bladder via the tibial nerve. This regulates the function of the bladder and pelvic floor.
The treatment, known as percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation, is available at the Brancaster outpatients unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn, which has been made a Centre of Excellence due to the high standard of care provided to patients.
The hospital is planning to expand the treatment room in the autumn along with creating a dedicated diagnostic room. Urogynecology specialist nurse Jane Wolfe said: 'We started off with a handful of patients five years ago and are now treating 40 patients a month.
'Bladder problems can have a significant impact on a patient's life. In some cases it can have a devastating effect such as relationship breakdowns or someone withdrawing from society. Some patients avoid going to unfamiliar places as they are unsure where the toilets are.
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'This treatment can change people's lives. You see some patients who arrive depressed and not sure the treatment will work but when it does they are thrilled. I have seen some patients go back to work and go out on family holidays and trips, which they hadn't been able to do previously.' Men and women, ranging in age from teenagers to pensioners, have an initial course of 12 treatments, which are split into 30-minute sessions a week.
At the end of the course, the patient can opt to continue onto maintenance sessions, which are tailored for the individual needs.
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Mrs Wolfe added: 'Research shows that women take four years to build up the courage to come to seek help so we want to make it as nice as possible for them when they arrive here.
'We are also hoping to offer this treatment to people suffering from bowel problems.'
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