Study: Pacemaker implant can regulate incontinence

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Patients who received treatment from an implanted pacemaker to regulate their bladders experienced less depression and better quality of life, according to a recent study in the journal Urology.

Patients who received the treatment, which stimulates the sacral nerve, had improved scores and quality of life during the first three months after treatment -- and the benefits were still reported after six months. In contrast, patients who did not receive the treatment had slightly worse scores for depression and quality of life.

During the first step of the treatment, an external stimulator is connected to the sacral nerve by a lead. If this treatment leads to significant improvement, the patient receives a pacemaker that continues nerve stimulation implanted under the skin.

Bladder leakage and other incontinence issues are the most common characteristics found in new nursing home admissions.