Not your typical Botox user, Greg Hejmanowski hopes an injection will change his life.
“It will make life easier that I won’t have the urgency when I have to do to the bathroom. At night I get up 3-4 times a night,” says Greg Hejmanowski, trying botox for bladder control.
Hejmanowski has Parkinson’s disease, one of a number of neurological conditions that can impact bladder control.
“Because those patients have had interruption of their brain to their bladder - so what happens - the bladder becomes overactive and they experience frequency, urgency, leakage of urine or inability to urinate and that causes a big problem. All of these patients have tried different medications and they’ve run out of options,” says Dr. Harold Tsai, urologist on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.
The food and drug administration is allowing Botox for people like Hejmanowski and others who don’t respond to medication. Here’s how it’s done:
“There’s a scope that’s placed into their bladder, males and females both, and then we anesthetize the muscle of their bladder with numbing agent. And then we inject it with a very small injections, systematically in the muscle of the bladder,” says Dr. Tsai.
This isn’t Botox’s first stab at non-cosmetic uses. It’s already been approved for migraine headaches and excessive underarm sweating. The FDA saying it’s safe and effective.
“Botox has been used in other aspects of medicine rigidity, spasticity mostly for muscle type issues. It’s a neurotoxin and basically causes paralysis of the muscle. There’s a chemical released by the nerve ending and this prevents the chemical from being released,” says Dr. Tsai.
Injections need to be repeated as the Botox wears off. Studies show it may last up to ten months, giving patients the luxury of time.
“I am familiar with it, it’s a wonderful thing,” says Hejmanowski.