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Tina’s story: ‘Awesome’ therapy for overactive bladder

Friday, January 19, 2018

By: Femi Cole

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Tina Melotte says life was miserable before a visit with an Aurora BayCare specialist.


She’s long struggled with an overactive bladder and, until recently, hadn’t been able to find relief.


“We tried rescue treatments, we tried Botox® shots in my bladder, we tried all kinds of stuff,” Tina said. “I had to (use a catheter) every day, and that was not pleasant either. It just wasn’t working.”


Following a recommendation from Aurora BayCare Urological Surgeons, Tina saw immediate relief for her overactive bladder after the procedure. Since then, life has been nothing short of amazing.


“My freedom is back. I’ve never had that before,” she says. “It’s been awesome.”


Dr. Richard Windsor, a urologist with Aurora BayCare Urological Surgeons, had suggested using InterStim® therapy to control her bladder, Tina was hesitant.


“When they told me it was controlled by a remote control, I kind of got freaked out a little. But it was always in the back of my mind,” Tina says.


InterStim therapy uses a small L-shaped device, roughly the size of three quarters, to send mild electrical pulses to the sacral nerve, which is just above the tail bone. The sacral nerve controls muscles and organs that contribute to urinary control.


The InterStim device is placed in a person’s lower back parallel to the sacral nerve. Users are given a neurostimulator to control the device. The neurostimulator helps prevent the feeling of an overactive bladder by sending electrical pulses to the device implanted in the back.


Tina decided to try InterStim therapy when she couldn’t receive Botox treatment because of a urinary tract infection, a common side effect of using a catheter.


“They had to do a test to make sure it would work for me, to see if it would even be an option. And it was,” Tina says. “I was kind of really excited then.”


Just a few weeks later, Tina had the InterStim device implanted.


It’s easy to use and allows Tina to have full control over her bladder.


“It’s a box, kind of like a pacemaker-type box. It has a remote; I control it myself,” Tina said. “If I’m having problems with my bladder, like urgency, I put (the remote) over the box in my back and control the amount of stimulation I get in the box in my back. It just releases a little pulse.”


“InterStim is a great option for patients who have an overactive bladder,” Windsor says. “It works to facilitate communication between the patient’s brain and their bladder to eliminate or reduce an overactive bladder.”


Tina encourages others with an overactive bladder to act more quickly than she did.


“I’ve had bladder issues most of my life and it’s miserable. You always have that holding you down,” she says. “It is so cool to be worry-free of something like that.”


Tina thanks Dr. Windsor and the urology staff for the care she received.


“They have changed my life. They’ll never know how much they changed my life,” she said.


Dr. Richard Windsor sees patients in Green Bay and Marinette. To request an appointment, call 920-288-8280 or do so online.


Tina Aurora BayCare Urology patient

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