Health Beat: Pioneering treatment relieves pelvic pain
Millions suffer from urological problems. They try traditional treatments like sacral nerve stimulation to treat their pelvic or urinary pain, fecal or urinary incontinence, but still the problem persists.
A Michigan doctor, however, has pioneered a treatment that could be the solution these patients are searching for.
"For months, my daughter and I went from doctor to doctor to doctor," said Donna Pelto.
"Right away, we knew something was wrong. We just didn’t know what,” said Becky Petrie, Pelto's daughter.
Pelto, however, knew how to describe her debilitating pain.
"You get your charcoal briquettes to the point where they're red and they're hot, and then stick them up in between your legs. That's what it feels like," Pelto explained.
Beaumont urologist Dr. Kenneth Peters pioneered an outpatient procedure that would relieve her pain.
"We’ve developed a way to place the electrode at the pudendal, which is a nerve that comes further deeper into the pelvis," said Peters, chairman of urology, director of Beaumont Women's Urology Center, Beaumont Health System.
An electrical pulse generator is connected to the electrode and implanted in the patient's buttock.
"It is a pacemaker for the nerves that control a lot of functions of the pelvis such as the bladder, the bowel, and the pelvic floor," Peters said.
The device sends a signal to the brain to ignore abnormal signals that cause bowel and urinary issues, or pelvic pain like Pelto's. The level of relief is remotely controlled by the patient.
Since receiving the treatment, Pelto said she feels a major difference.
"Every patient I see for the first time, I tell them they're going to be better because I believe it 100 percent," Peters said.
This procedure is not to be seen as a cure, but it is successful nearly 85 percent of the time in providing at least a 50 percent relief in symptoms.
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