Since its inception in January The Advanced Urology Associates Overactive Bladder Center of Excellence has been helping patients with overactive bladder issues reach their goals of managing or stopping symptoms.
Nurse Navigator Sarah Bandura who has been involved with the OAB Center of Excellence since the beginning said that they develop an individualized care plan for each patient.
“A lot of people would try medication and when it wouldn’t work they would stop coming in or think it was normal for it not to work so they wouldn’t try to do anything further,” Bandura said. “This is a way for us to show people that they don’t have to settle for leakage or over activity, there’s other options that we can help them with.”
Nurse Practitioner Lori Cornelius said that the center has the opportunity to change lives.
“Overactive bladder is a very common problem and many people do not realize there is help for them beyond medications or a surgical procedure,” Cornelius said. “Many patients do not want to go on a medication for several reasons including cost, no insurance coverage, and side effects.”
The OAB Center of Excellence offers several treatment paths for patients. Options such as oral medications, pelvic floor therapy, Botox injections into the bladder, external tibial nerve stimulation, and an InterStem device that can be implanted near the base of the spine gives each patient a more specialized care plan.
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding being diagnosed with an overactive bladder which makes educating patients to ensure proper care a top priority according to Bandura.
“There are a lot of young people who do experience problems and think it will go away, or they think it’s from childbirth. It’s not normal to leak urine or have to go to the bathroom every hour,” Bandura said.
Cornelius said that often once medications fail people think that nothing else will work. She said that pelvic floor therapy can work for many urology issues such as stress incontinence, pelvic pain, and urinary retention.
Cornelius recalled one life changing patient’s journey, a woman in her 30’s who was sexually abused as a child and later suffered from overactive bladder and pelvic pain.
“At the conclusion of our weekly sessions, she was pain free and without overactive bladder. She tearfully told me ‘This is the first time I can remember in years that I have been without pain.’ There are many stories like this,” Cornelius said.
OAB is primarily located out of the Joliet office, but the staff travels to the offices in Morris and New Lenox.
Urodynamicist Angela Noti said that it’s often an emotional process for patients to undergo but she offered this advice.
“A lot of patients feel lost and helpless if the medication doesn't work. But the center has been really successful, we have so many people we’re doing therapy for,” Noti said. “Don’t give up, we will find the option that works best for you.”
For more information, visit the OAB Center of Excellence’s website at https://www.advuro.com/oab/ or call one of their three locations listed below.
Joliet : 815-409-4930
Silver Cross: 815-726-3110