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"Pacemaker"-like device helping women who suffer bladder leakage

Women who suffer from bladder leakage could change their lives with an implant
Women who suffer from bladder leakage could change their lives with an implant 02:09

Bladder leakage is a problem for 60-percent of women. These kinds of incontinence issues can be a big problem, and significantly impact quality of life.


Sarah Avrech is a mom of three. She started suffering urinary incontinence after delivering twins.

"I was noticing, like with running, jumping, laughing, coughing even… sneezing, I would completely lose bladder control," Avrech told CBS News Colorado's Karen Leigh.

"Way too young for that," Leigh reacted.

"Yes, way too young for that," Avrech agreed.

Avrech went through the usual round of treatments: physical therapy, medications, and even a surgery where doctors did what's called a "bladder sling," but nothing completely stopped the leakage.

"So I was having to wear a pad all the time, after I had just had this surgery, so that was really frustrating," Avrech explained.

"So you kind of ran out of options?" Leigh asked.

 "So then I just lived with it for three, almost four years," Avrech replied.

Then she found Dr. Alex Rogers and the Bladder Boutique in Thornton.

"Our whole goal is to help women who are bothered by leakage," Rogers said.

Rogers identified Avrech as a good candidate for sacral neuromodulation. Basically a "pacemaker" for the sacral nerve.

"When we apply energy to nerves that are not behaving, it makes the signal correct or more correct," Rogers explained.


Leads are threaded into the sacral nerve that are attached to a battery that sits near the hip.

"Typically, it's just stimulating 24-hours…24/7 at a low level to make the nerve behave," Rogers said.

Avrech had the surgery in February.

"Mentally it's been great and physically, I don't feel like I have restrictions on stuff anymore," Avrech said.

"How has this changed your life? It seems like it isn't a big deal but it is," said Leigh.

"It is a big deal because it's kind of something that you live in silence about because a lot of people don't want to talk about it," Avrech explained.

Bladder incontinence is so common in Women and it is something we don't talk about a lot. Rogers wants women to know there are effective treatments available. These same treatments are available for men as well.

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