Treating Interstitial Cystitis: Special Therapies and Surgery
Many different types of treatment are available to help manage IC symptoms and relieve pain. Some may work well for one person and not for another, so several types of treatment may be tried before you and your doctor determine the plan that's best for you.
Biofeedback is a painless technique that can help you learn to control the movement of your bladder muscles. During biofeedback, sensors are placed on your abdomen. The sensors convert signals given off by your muscles into lines on a computer screen.
Stimulation of the area around your bladder with electrical signals may help relieve symptoms byblocking the nerve sensations to and from the bladder,by improving blood flow, or by strengthening the pelvic muscles. For this treatment (sometimes called TENS), wires are placed on the skin of the lower back or abdomen. Mild electric pulses are then sent into the body for several minutes to hours. The therapy may be repeated one or more times daily, and may continue for several weeks to months.
Other Types of Treatments
Certain other types of treatments may be tried to help relieve your IC symptoms. Therapeutic massage of the abdominal muscles using heat or ice may help relieve pain. Acupuncture, the therapeutic use of needles, may also help relieve pain in some cases.
Surgery may be recommended for severe cases of IC that are not relieved by any other types of treatment. The results of surgery can be unpredictable. If your doctor recommends surgery, he or she can discuss the procedure's risks and benefits with you.