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Botox or Interstim . . . .

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  • Botox or Interstim . . . .

    I have tried everthing under the sun it seems for my IC and nothing to date has made any difference. I now have a choice of trying botox treatments or the interstim. I am really torn between which to try. On one hand I would really like to try the botox because it doesnt seem as invasive but on the other there is a concern that it may cause me retention issues. If I knew for sure that one would work or which one it wouldn't be a problem but I can only have one paid for and after that I would have to try the other at my own expense which as I'm sure are all aware of is quite pricey.
    Anyone's thoughts on these two choices would be appreciated. Any experiences with either or?
    At it stands now I'm on a waiting list for both and both can take anywheres from 3 months to 1 year so right now I'm just going thru one day at a time. If I look too far ahead I don't think I could do it.

  • #2
    That's a tough choice because there are pros and cons to each. Obviously Botox is less invasive but on the downside, the procedure needs to be repeated every 4 -9 months. Interstim is more invasive but on the upside, you could go years without needing a battery replacement. I have had both done (unfortunately neither worked for me ). My doctor had told me that Interstim has a higher success rate then Botox. In retrospect, I kind of feel that Interstim is heavily promoted by doctors and medtronics. So I take the supposed success rate of Interstim over Botox with a grain of salt.

    In terms of price only, Interstim costs significantly more than botox. You can have Botox done in a doctors office. Interstim is done in the OR (at least for the permanent leads/implant). For most people, Interstim is too costly to pay for out of pocket.

    Do you feel that your dr is pushing you to choose one procedure over the other? If your dr is remaining neutral, ask him if he was in your shoes, which
    would he pick. Also, you could ask him whether he finds that one procedure has a higher success rate over the other.

    I hope I was of some help. Good luck with this difficult decision!



    • #3
      I would try everything else before going for the interstim. Just my own thoughts.

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      • #4

        So sorry to hear neither worked for you. If you don't mind me asking what were your main symptoms? Have you found some relieve yet?

        You do make some good points and I feel as though this is the end of the line, so to speak, for me as after these options I don't think there is anything else I can try.

        I have been giving this so much thought but as you say there are pros and cons with each and bad and good stories with each. My doctor doesn't seem to have a preference though so maybe I'll ask him.

        Thanks for your help.