Small device brings freedom from worry
When Patti Sue Till reached menopause, she began having distressing changes in her bladder function. It’s not uncommon for women going through menopause to experience urinary problems.
Urinary challenges were impacting Till's lifestyle. “The condition was awful and affected so much of my life,” said Till. She experienced intense pelvic discomfort, frequent urges to urinate, and incontinence. Till constantly looked for the nearest bathroom wherever she went. “Every day I would have to think about my activities and figure out where to find a bathroom for breaks every 30 minutes.”
Till sought the help of urologist Melanie Crites-Bachert, D.O. to improve her bladder function and have a better quality of life. She was diagnosed with overactive bladder and prolapsed bladder, commonly known as fallen bladder, a condition where the supportive tissues surrounding the bladder weaken. “There are a range of therapies and treatments for urinary dysfunction, but it’s sometimes challenging to find what works best for each patient,” said Dr. Crites-Bachert.
Dr. Crites-Bachert recommended medication therapy and surgery to reposition the bladder. The treatment provided relief but didn’t eliminate Till’s symptoms. “I was 62 and thought this is as good as it's going to get,” she said. Two years later she returned to Dr. Crites-Bachert to find other treatment options.
Dr. Crites-Bachert proposed sacral neuromodulation therapy to reduce Till's bladder overactivity. Sacral neuromodulation is an effective therapy for individuals with severe urinary control dysfunction. The therapy involves placing a small neurostimulator device near the sacral nerves that control the bladder to stimulate the organ to work normally. Dr. Crites-Bachert says sacral neuromodulation therapy is a game changer for patients. “This is the preferred therapy to treat patients with severe urinary control symptoms and helps them radically improve their quality of life,” she said.
Dr. Crites-Bachert is known nationally for expertise in sacral neuromodulation therapy for urinary control dysfunction and fecal incontinence. Dr. Crites-Bachert uses the InterStim™ neurostimulator system to treat patients with overactive bladder symptoms for whom other treatments have not worked. She developed a specific technique for implanting the InterStim™ device and is ranked among the top five percent of physicians in the nation for achieving successful patient outcomes.
Till had the sacral neuromodulation device surgically placed by Dr. Crites-Bachert at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center in 2016. The results have been remarkable and life changing. “The difference between before and after the device is unbelievable,” she said. “It’s been freedom, just complete freedom to not have to stress about my bladder anymore.” She gets to sleep through the night and no longer plans her day around restroom breaks. “It has given me a new life because I can do pretty much anything I want now.”