Axonics is a form of nerve stimulation therapy often prescribed to treat bowel and urinary dysfunction symptoms where conventional treatments have failed or are unsuitable. Read on to learn everything there is to know about these Axonics side effects.
It involves implanting a tiny device into the spine that helps restore communication between your sacral nerve and brain.
Despite its widespread popularity and success in restoring optimum bladder and bowel function, there are also a couple of Axonics side effects that every patient should know.
But first, here are some benefits of the therapy.
Benefits of Axonics
If we are going to talk about Axonics side effects, it’s only fair that we also discuss its main benefits too.
It helps manage bladder incontinence better
Several causes of urinary incontinence include pregnancy, neurological disorders, injury in the pelvic region, and prostate cancer.
Other health conditions like a stroke or multiple sclerosis can also cause you to lose bladder control.
While medicine helps in most cases, some cases may be slightly difficult to resolve with conventional means.
This is where Axonics therapy comes in.
Axonics therapy significantly reduces your urge to urinate and your urinary leak episodes.
Additionally, it can help you sleep better, which is a plus if you struggle with an unhealthy sleep pattern.
It can reduce bowel incontinence
The most common causes of bowel incontinence are injuries suffered from childbirth and aging.
Getting an Axonics device implanted in your spine can help reduce your involuntary fecal leaks and help you regain control of your bowels.
In addition to that, you may also get relief from other symptoms of bowel malfunction like bloating and stomach upset.
How long does it take to recover from Axonics surgery?
It should take you about three weeks to return to your normal activities after getting an Axonics procedure.
As for light activity, you can resume within three days of the surgery.
Where is Axonics implanted?
The Axonics device is implanted in the lower back, just above the buttocks.
The procedure is minimally invasive and can be performed safely at the center that allows outpatient surgery.
It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
Axonics side effects
Here are 10 Axonics side effects you should consider before you decide to get the procedure done.
The surgical site may get infected
Like most surgical procedures, the Axonics procedure carries a risk of surgical site infection.
Fortunately, you can easily treat this by seeking an antibiotics injection as soon as you notice symptoms of infection on the surgical site.
You may experience discomfort in the charging area
The Axonics device implanted for this particular procedure involves you recharging it every 4 to 6 weeks for about an hour.
While some people have no issue with the charging process, others find it extremely uncomfortable due to the heating.
If you experience abnormal heating in the charging area, then there’s a good chance you are not charging it correctly.
To solve this problem, you can visit your doctor to retrain you on how to charge it properly.
You can get tingling sensations
Before you get this procedure done, you should know that you may experience some tingling sensations in your lower back.
Thankfully, these sensations are transient in most cases, which means they will last a very short time before you stop feeling them.
You may experience hematoma
A hematoma is a localized collection of blood outside your blood vessels.
It can happen due to a disease or trauma to the blood vessels.
One of the Axonics side effects is that you can experience a bit of hematoma after getting the surgery.
In most cases, your body will quickly reabsorb the blood, so you won’t have anything to worry about.
This procedure can cause swelling on the surgical site
You should expect some swelling on the surgery site, which will likely go down within a few hours.
If it doesn’t go away, then that could be a sign that the device was not properly implanted, and you should report that to your doctor.
You may feel numb afterward
It’s not uncommon for patients who have undergone this procedure to feel a bit numb every now and then.
This is likely to occur on the generator site, and in some cases, it is accompanied by pain.
If you find the numbness occurring a bit too frequently, then you should ask your doctor to check if the implant is still in place.
The device might migrate from the original position
In some cases, the lead device implanted to help with neurostimulation can move from the original point and go further up or lower the spinal cord.
When this happens, it can cause discomfort in addition to ceasing to serve its purpose.
Fortunately, this can be corrected by returning the implant to the original position in your lower back.
It may cause a spinal fluid leak
Like every other minimally invasive surgery on the spine, the Axonics procedure carries a risk of causing your spinal fluid to leak.
This is not very common, and in most cases, it happens when the surgeon does not use the right procedure to cut into the layers of the skin.
You may experience unintended nerve stimulation
The lead implant in your lower back, as part of the Axonics therapy, is supposed to improve communication between your brain and sacral nerve.
However, there’s a risk of affecting more nerves than the sacral nerve.
When this happens, you may experience a disturbance in your general nerve function, which could worsen your condition if not corrected immediately.
It can cause radiculitis
One of the little-known Axonics side effects is that it can cause radiculitis.
Radiculitis is the general term that describes symptoms caused by excess pressure, compression, or inflammation of a nerve root.
This procedure puts you at risk of experiencing pain along your spine, especially if the device is not properly placed.
Who should not do Axonics therapy?
Axonics therapy is not ideal for pregnant people under 16 years old, or those with neurological issues caused by a chronic condition like multiple sclerosis or diabetes.
This is because research has yet to establish the effectiveness and safety of this procedure for these populations.
Since the FDA approved sacral neurostimulation procedures in 2019, they have been nothing but a blessing to people with urinary and fecal incontinence all over the world.
Procedures like Axonics therapy have helped people regain control of their bladders and bowels to reduce incidents of involuntary leaks.
However, we must also talk about Axonics side effects just as much as we do its benefits.
This article explains some of the Axonics side effects that you should expect when going for the procedure.
Should you need further clarification on them, make sure to talk to your doctor before you get the surgery done.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]