Some of you have asked about the medical device called Elitone, which was FDA approved for treating stress urinary incontinence and being promoted as an alternative to sacral neuromodulation. We think Elitone may offer a nice complement to existing therapies including pelvic floor exercises, medications and Bulkamid filler injection for stress incontinence. Here’s what else to know about Elitone for incontinence.
It’s Designed for Stress Incontinence
Elitone is not believed of any benefit for urinary urge incontinence, which is the more bothersome kind we mostly see and treat, nor for bowel incontinence of course. But sometimes our patients have both urge incontinence and stress incontinence that may not totally resolve with sacral neuromodulation, so let’s explore Elitone and stress incontinence further.
Stress incontinence is a common condition, particularly among women, characterized by the unintentional leakage of urine during activities that increase abdominal pressure, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or physical exertion. It occurs due to weakened pelvic floor muscles and inadequate support for the bladder and urethra. One of the newer non-invasive treatment options for stress incontinence is the use of devices like Elitone.
Eltone is a medical device designed to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and improve urinary control in individuals with stress incontinence. It typically works by delivering electrical stimulation to the pelvic floor muscles, promoting muscle contraction and strengthening over time. Like any medical treatment, it has pros and cons.
Challenges of Using Elitone
The efficacy of Elitone can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience significant improvement in their symptoms, while others might not respond as well. This variability could be due to differences in muscle tone, severity of incontinence, or individual physiological factors.
Consistency is also key. To achieve positive outcomes, consistent and prolonged use of the device is essential. Some users may struggle to adhere to the recommended usage schedule (20 minutes per day, 5 days per week, for the first 6 weeks), which could impact the overall success of the treatment. Long-term commitment to regular usage can be a challenge for some individuals, especially if they find the treatment unpleasant.
The electrical stimulation delivered by Elitone may cause discomfort or unfamiliar sensations for users, which might affect their willingness to continue using the device. Adjusting to these sensations can sometimes take a bit of time and patience.
The level of incontinence severity can also affect the success of Elitone from one person to the next. Elitone might be more suitable for individuals with mild to moderate stress incontinence. Those with severe cases or underlying medical conditions might not experience as much improvement solely from using the device and might require additional treatments or interventions.
Then there’s the time investment. Achieving noticeable results with Elitone may take time. Users should be prepared for the fact that it could be weeks or even months before they start to see substantial improvements in their symptoms. This prolonged timeframe could be discouraging for some individuals.
It’s important to keep in mind that stress incontinence is a complex issue influenced by various factors such as muscle strength, hormonal changes, and lifestyle habits. Elitone might not address all of these factors comprehensively, requiring a more holistic approach to treatment for some individuals. Urge incontinence with larger accidents, overactive bladder, incomplete bladder emptying (urinary retention) and fecal incontinence are better treated with sacral neuromodulation.
Finally, there are the costs to consider. Medical devices like Elitone might have associated costs that could be a barrier for some individuals, particularly if insurance coverage is limited or unavailable. While Medicare should cover the treatment, the financial aspect of using the device through other insurance should be carefully evaluated.
The Bottom Line
While Elitone holds promise as a non-invasive treatment option for stress incontinence, it’s important to recognize a few potential challenges associated with its usage. A personalized approach to treatment, combining device usage with other strategies like pelvic floor exercises, dietary adjustments, and lifestyle modifications, might lead to the best outcomes for individuals dealing with stress incontinence. For the most bothersome urge incontinence, urinary retention, overactive bladder and fecal incontinence, sacral neuromodulation is your best bet.
To learn more about sacral neuromodulation, including whether you might be a candidate, contact Nevada Surgical today.