Urology: when to seek help and the support available

The Urology team at our Hospital treat a range of conditions and there is also a dedicated continence care team at the hospital who treat bladder problems.

Seeking help

The continence care team see more women than men and believe this is because men are often reluctant to talk about such concerns.

Continence care nurse, Mary Barker explains: “No-one really wants to talk about their bladder problems, but we have found that men are more reluctant than women to come forward.

“The problem has got better over the years though. There are now articles in magazines and there are posters on the doors of public toilets. People are more willing to talk about it and it’s not as taboo as it used to be."

It’s when bladder issues begin to affect people’s daily routines that they realise they need to seek help. In the first instance they should see their GP. If necessary, they would then be referred to a consultant or a nurse led continence care service, such as the one at our Hospital.

Lifestyle changes and treatment to support conditions

For some there might be a simple solution. It might just be a dietary change which is needed, for instance, someone might be drinking too many fizzy drinks or caffeine, resulting in a need to the toilet frequently or urgently. For others the problem might be that they need to drink more water, not drinking enough can result in frequent urine infections.

Other problems can be treated with bladder training, pelvic floor exercises, medication and in some cases surgical intervention. Some patients will be treated with a mixture of options.

Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS) treatment

We offer a service called PTNS. This is for private patients only (other urological and continence care services are open to private patients, members of Benenden Health and NHS patients through the e-referral scheme).

PTNS is Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation and is for patients with overactive bladder syndrome. The treatment involves inserting a small, slim needled electrode near the ankle. The needle electrode is then connected to a battery powered stimulator.

Mild impulses from the stimulator travel through the needle electrode, along the leg and to the nerves in the pelvis that control bladder function.

Patients have an initial consultation followed by a series of 12 weekly sessions and then a re-assessment. Sessions last 30 minutes, during which patients can relax in a chair. PTNS is offered to patients for whom conservative treatments have not worked and who might not want or might not be considered to need more invasive procedures.

An estimated 70% of patients respond positively to PTNS.

Don’t wait to get on top of your health

To book a urology appointment, complete our online enquiry form or contact our Private Patient Team on 01580 363158.

Published on 30 September 2020