Urgent PC, also known as percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation, is a treatment that can reduce the need to rush to the bathroom frequently. The treatment works by stimulating a nerve near the ankle with an acupuncture needle and gentle electrical stimulation. The stimulation interrupts nerve signals to the bladder that cause urinary frequency and urgency (also called overactive bladder).
The treatment is virtually painless and has no side effects. It is done in the office once per week for 30 minutes. A full course of treatment lasts 12 weeks, and most women begin to notice improvement within 6 weeks. You will need to check with your health insurance company to be sure the treatment is covered.
How does Urgent PC work?
The Urgent PC system delivers a specific type of neuromodulation called percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS). During treatment, a small, slim needle electrode is inserted near your ankle. The needle electrode is then connected to the battery-powered stimulator. During your 30-minute treatment, mild impulses from the stimulator travel through the needle electrode, along your leg and to the nerves in your pelvis that control bladder function. This process is also referred to as neuromodulation.
What will I feel with Urgent PC therapy?
Because patients may experience the sensation of the Urgent PC therapy in different ways, it’s difficult to say what the treatment would feel like to you. Patients often describe the sensation as “tingling,” or “pulsating.” Treatment is typically well-tolerated by patients. Urgent PC offers many different levels of stimulation, so your clinician will be able to adjust treatment to suit you as well as address any discomfort that you might experience during treatment.
How often will I need Urgent PC treatments?
You will receive an initial series of 12 treatments scheduled about a week apart. After the initial 12 treatments, your physician will work with you to determine if occasional treatments are needed to maintain your results. The time between follow-up treatments can range from every few weeks to every few months.
How effective is Urgent PC treatment?
60-80% of patients see a satisfactory improvement in their symptoms. Urgent PC may work, even if other treatments, such as medications, have failed.
How soon will I see results with Urgent PC?
Because Urgent PC gently modifies the signals to achieve bladder control, it usually takes 5-7 weeks for symptoms to change. However, patients respond at different rates. In a review of about 100 patients who had success with Urgent PC, symptoms improved anywhere between 2-12 weeks. For about 20% of these patients, the symptoms of urgency and/or urge incontinence didn’t improve until after 8 weeks.1
There is no way to anticipate who will respond earlier, later or not at all. That’s why it is important to receive the 12 recommended treatments before you and your physician evaluate whether this therapy is an appropriate and effective choice for you.
How can I receive treatment with Urgent PC?
Urgent PC is an option for patients with OAB. If you think you have OAB, talk to us. If you have OAB, the doctor will work with you to determine your own personal treatment plan which usually starts with behavior and diet modifications plus medications. Urgent PC is an excellent option if these options don’t work or provide sufficient improvements. Treatment with Urgent PC is typically performed at our office