What is Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation, and how does it work?
PTNS is a non-surgical procedure that is done in the office. A very thin needle, similar to an acupuncture needle, is placed above the ankle, where a special nerve called the tibial nerve is stimulated, which causes stimulation of the nerves around the bladder leading to the brain. The nerve stimulation leads to decreased urgency and urination. At each session of stimulation, the needle is attached to a small device that sends mild electrical pulses through the tibial nerve. These pulses help block the nerve signals that are causing the bladder to be overactive.
How long is each treatment, and how often do I need treatment?
Each treatment takes 30 minutes. Patients receive weekly treatments for 12 weeks. After the first 12 session treatment may be needed only once a month. However, there are some patients that can go several months between sessions while still maintaining bladder control.
Are there any side effects?
The majority of patients do not experience any side effects from the PTNS procedure.
Bruising or bleeding where the needle is inserted
These effects typically resolve quickly without further treatment or follow-up care.